Celebrities are constantly getting in hot water because of the reckless things thay sometimes say on Twitter but Courtney Love took it to another level. A series of defamatory tweets posted by Love have lead to a unique defamation lawsuit. The Hole frontwoman had been locked in a dispute with fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, who was demanding payment from her for a few thousand dollars worth of clothes.
Love took to her Twitter account last March and began hurling a stream of insults at the designer announcing that Simorangkir was a drug-pushing prostitute with a history of assault and battery who lost custody of her child and capitalized on Love’s fame before stealing from her. “She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!” Love wrote.
Love’s tweets instantly landed in the Twitter feeds of her then 40,000 or so followers and several others via retweets. The rocker girl’s tirades against the designer, which were also unleashed on her other social networking platforms including MySpace and Etsy.com, is in the middle of a defamation lawsuit as a result. This is the first time Twitter has been implicated in court case.
“There has never been anything like this case before,” says Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman, who will attempt to convince a Los Angeles jury that Love’s false statements destroyed his client’s fashion career, thus entitling her to potentially millions of dollars in damages.
Love’s case raises the question of whether celebrities, like the news media, should be liable for what happens if they intentionally put untrue and damaging statements in front of their loyal readers.
First Amendment lawyers told The Hollywood Reporter that and important component of the case could be whether an average Twitter user would interpret Love’s tweets as facts rather than merely her opinion.
Love’s case is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on February 6. [The Hollywood Reporter]