Phoebe Bridgers Must Face Deposition In Libel Lawsuit
A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has ruled that the studio owner suing Phoebe Bridgers for allegedly defaming him on social media can force her to be deposed about whether she acted with “actual malice.” According to Rolling Stone, Judge Curtis A. Kin ruled in favor of plaintiff Chris Nelson, saying that the court could not decide to strike the libel lawsuit on the grounds of free speech until Bridgers is deposed. Bridgers had previously pushed back at an in-person deposition, calling it “nothing more than thinly veiled harassment.”
The lawsuit stems from Bridgers’ 2020 Instagram story where the singer voiced support for Nelson’s ex-girlfriend Emily Bannon, writing, “I stand in Solidarity with those coming forward with allegations against Chris Nelson.” Bridgers also said she had witnessed Nelson engaging in “grooming, stealing, [and] violence.” She added: “For anyone who knows [Nelson], is considering working with him, or wants to know more, there is an articulate and mind-blowing account on @emilybannon’s page as a highlight. TRIGGER WARNING for basically everything triggering.”
Nelson, who sued Bannon for defamation in December 2020, then sued Bridgers last September for $3.8 million. He had also filed a lawsuit in December 2020 against former Saturday Night Live cast member and singer-songwriter Noël Wells, accusing her of making “false, defamatory, and misleading” comments when she allegedly warned Big Thief against working with him in July 2020.
In February, Bridgers responded to Nelson’s defamation lawsuit, saying that she stood by her October 2020 Instagram post statements. Bridgers’ legal team also filed an anti-SLAPP motion, claiming the suit sought to suppress her First Amendment right to free speech.
“I believe that the statements I made in my Instagram story are true. My statements were made based on my personal knowledge, including statements I personally heard Mr. Nelson make, as well as my own observations,” Bridgers wrote in a sworn declaration. “I continue to believe the statements that I made were true.”