Phoebe Bridgers is fired for defamation after defending a woman who alleges abuse

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Phoebe Bridgers is known for good takes. She has spoken about the importance of access to abortion, even parenting $40,000 for abortion funds in just 12 hours is one of the few celebrities to do so defend publicly Amber Heard, and has served as a necessary (and consistent) slide to Twitter bullies everywhere. She’s always had Jezebel’s affections, but as of this week she’s also firmly in the money, despite being sued for $3.8 million.

The singer-songwriter just scored in Los Angeles County Superior Court: A Judge Fair kicked out a defamation lawsuit against her brought by Chris Nelson, owner of recording studio Sound Space. The lawsuit stemmed from an October 2020 post on Bridgers’ Instagram Stories, in which she defended Emily Bannon, Nelson’s ex-girlfriend, who claimed he was abusive. she posted:

“I witnessed and can personally attest to much of the abuse (nursing, theft, violence) of Chris Nelson, owner of a studio called Sound Space,” Bridgers’ post read, which lasted 24 hours on her Instagram account appeared. “For everyone who knows [Nelson], considering working with him, or want to know more, @emilybannon’s page features an eloquent and stunning report as a highlight. TRIGGER ALERT for virtually anything that triggers.”

Bridgers shared the sentiment with another Bannon Instagram story, which read, “I stand in solidarity with those making allegations against Chris Nelson.” Nelson filed the defamation lawsuit against the singer in September 2021, alleging Bridgers published “false and defamatory statements” about him and sought $3.8 million in damages.

In response, Bridger’s attorneys made a special request under California’s anti-SLAPP law, which protects freedom of speech. In an accompanying statement, Bridgers affirmed, “I believe the statements I made on my Instagram story are true.”

December 2021 Nelson shared his text story with Bridgers to prove his innocence. Given that their last exchange was in 2020, it wasn’t surprising that it didn’t work out. Before ruling in Bridgers’ favor, Judge Curtis Kin told the court he believed she “intended to provide protected consumer information to musicians or others who might consider collaborating with (Nelson).”

A Bridgers spokesman said of the verdict Rolling Stone: “We feel confirmed that the court recognized this lawsuit as dubious and unfounded. It was neither legal nor fact based, but was submitted with the sole intention of damaging our client’s reputation and career. This win is important not only for our client, but for everyone she wanted to protect by using her platform.” Nelson has not yet publicly commented on the dismissal.

At a time when deeply questionable men in the music industry are empowered to cause professional and personal harm to female artists who dare speak out about their corrupt dealings (eg Kesha vs Dr. hatchMegan Thee Stallion by 1501 entertainment and Tory Lanez, Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braunetc. al), this victory is balm for the soul. Phoebe Bridgers is fired for defamation after defending a woman who alleges abuse

Adam Bradshaw

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