In October 2017, a widely circulated Twitter post accused William Benjamin Bensussen, the LA producer and DJ best known as the Gaslamp Killer, of drugging and raping two women in 2013. Bensussen denied the allegations, saying the women propositioned him and their sexual encounter was consensual, and a month later he filed defamation lawsuits against both accusers and their boyfriends.
Last year a Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out Bensussen’s suit against one of the accusers, RaeAn Medina, citing her anti-SLAPP motion. (As defined by the Public Participation Project, a SLAPP — an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation — is a lawsuit “used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to defend these baseless suits.”) The suit against Chelsea Tadros, the other accuser, was allowed to proceed despite Tadros also filing an anti-SLAPP motion.
Now, as Pitchfork points out, Bensussen has withdrawn his suit against Tadros. Furthermore, Bensussen and Tadros issued a joint statement from their respective social media accounts on July 26 expressing their “mutual desire to move on with their lives and put this lawsuit behind them.”
Here is the full text of the statement:
After engaging in heartfelt discussions with each other about the events of July 5, 2013, William Bensusson and Chelsea Tadros have decided that it is their mutual desire to move on with their lives and put this lawsuit behind them. For this reason, Mr. Bensusson has agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against Ms. Tadros.
Mr. Bensussen discussed with Ms. Tadros the events of July 5, 2013 to understand the basis for her Twitter post on October 12, 2017. Mr. Bensussen did this in good faith as an earnest effort to resolve this issue. After their discussions, Ms. Tadros acknowledges she does not know who drugged her, and both parties recognize that Ms. Tadros could have been drugged by one of the many attendees that were present on July 5, 2013.
Ms. Tadros continues to maintain that she was drugged and thereby unable to consent on July 5, 2013. Mr. Bensussen maintains that he has never drugged or raped anyone, and that he did not have any indication that Ms. Tadros was drugged or unable to consent. Furthermore, had Mr. Bensussen known or believed that Ms. Tadros did not or was unable to consent, he would not have engaged in any sexual activity.
Bensusson’s lawyer Parag Amin offered this statement to Pitchfork: “Both sides have made documents publicly available in this case, including declarations from witnesses so I invite all of your readers to review them before forming an opinion about this case. Regarding the statement, yes, it’s completely true and correct, and it speaks for itself.” Stereogum has reached out to Tadros’ lawyer, Erica Kim, for further comment.
UPDATE: Kim, Tadros’ lawyer, shared the following statement with Stereogum: “It has been an honor to represent my client, Chelsea Tadros. I’m very happy with the dismissal and grateful that Chelsea will be able to move on with her life.”
— chelsea (@chelseaelaynne) July 26, 2019