Phoebe Bridgers Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

Last September, Phoebe Bridgers was sued for defamation by a producer named Chris Nelson. Nelson, who owns a recording studio called Sound Space in Los Angeles, claimed that Bridgers used her public platform on Instagram to publish false and defamatory statements about Nelson “in order to destroy his reputation,” as the complaint read. Now, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit, MyNewsLA reports and Pitchfork can confirm.

According to court documents viewed by Pitchfork, Judge Curtis A. Kin granted Bridgers’ anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion, which she originally filed in February. California’s anti-SLAPP statute is meant to prevent people from using courts and potential lawsuits to intimidate those exercising their right to free-speech.

“We feel vindicated that the Court recognized this lawsuit as frivolous and without merit,” a spokesperson for Phoebe Bridgers wrote in a statement to Pitchfork. “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.”

In the original lawsuit (obtained by Pitchfork), Nelson stated that, “in or around 2018, [he] and his girlfriend at the time… began having consensual sexual encounters with [Phoebe] Bridgers.” Nelson and his girlfriend broke up “in or around the fall of 2019,” according to the lawsuit, but Nelson says that Bridgers and the woman “continued their relationship.”  A year later, Bridgers made “false and misleading statements about [Nelson],” according to the complaint.

Nelson sought $3.8 million in damages for alleged defamation, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, and negligent interference with prospective economic relations.

On February 14 of this year, Bridgers responded to Nelson’s lawsuit in court. “I believe that the statements I made in my Instagram story are true,” she wrote in a declaration in support of the motion to strike. “My statements were made based on my personal knowledge, including statements I personally heard Mr. Nelson make, as well as my own observations. I continue to believe the statements that I made were true.” (Bridgers had written that she witnessed and could verify “much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson, owner of a studio called Sound Space….” on her Instagram account.)

It was during the February 14 court appearance that Bridgers filed the motion invoking the anti-SLAPP statute. According to MyNewsLA, Judge Kin heard arguments on Bridgers’ dismissal motion on August 11, stating at the time that he was leaning toward tossing Nelson’s case.

Pitchfork has reached out to attorneys for Chris Nelson.

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