Judge Tosses $3.8M Defamation Lawsuit Against Phoebe Bridgers
Last year, Chris Nelson, owner of a Los Angeles recording studio called Sound Space, sued Phoebe Bridgers for defamation. In an October 2020 Instagram post, Bridgers accused Nelson of “grooming, stealing, [and] violence.” Nelson wanted $3.8 million from Bridgers, and his lawyers argued that Bridgers’ statements were made to further her “vendetta” against Nelson and that Bridgers was attempting to end Nelson’s career. Yesterday, a Los Angeles judge tossed out Nelson’s lawsuit, ruling that Bridgers’ allegations are protected by the First Amendment.
Phoebe Bridgers made her initial Instagram post in support of Nelson’s ex Emily Bannon. She wrote, “I witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson.” In February, Bridgers filed a motion for the lawsuit to be dismissed, citing California’s anti-SLAPP laws. In a sworn statement, Bridgers wrote, “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 appeared in court in August, and LA Superior Court Judge Curtis A. Kin indicated that he was leaning towards dismissing the lawsuit. That’s exactly what he did yesterday. As Billboard reports, Kin didn’t make a statement, but a rep for Bridgers had this to say:
We feel vindicated that the court recognized this lawsuit as frivolous and without merit. It was not grounded in law, or facts, but was filed with the sole intention of causing harm to our client’s reputation and career. This victory is important not just for our client but for all those she was seeking to protect by using her platform.
Bridgers hasn’t personally said anything public about her court victory yet.