A multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit filed against US musician Phoebe Bridgers has been dropped.
The case was originally filed by producer Chris Nelson back in September 2021. Nelson sued the “Kyoto” singer for $3.8m (£3.2m), claiming she spread false accusations about him.
At the time he alleged defamation, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations.
In the original suit, it stated that that Bridgers had “consensual sexual encounters” with Nelson and his then girlfriend, Emily Bannon “around 2018”, which continued until Bannon and Nelson broke up in 2019.
Following his split with Bannon, Nelson claims that Bridgers “maliciously and intentionally posted the false and defamatory statements about [him] as part of a vendetta to destroy [his] reputation that was inflamed by defendant Bridgers and his [ex-girlfriend, Bannon’s] sexual relationship”.
The defamation relates to an Instagram post from October 2020, where Nelson claims Bridgers made “false and misleading statements” on her account, in which she alleged to have “witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson”.
In February this year the singer responded to the claims and filed for an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion against Nelson, which claimed that his suit sought to suppress her First Amendment right to free speech.
“I believe that the statements I made in my Instagram story are true,” Bridgers wrote in a sworn declaration filed on 14 February.
“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,” she said at the time.
The lawsuit has now been dropped by a LA Superior Court judge, according to Pitchfork, with the court granting her anti-SLAPP motion which she had filed.
Anti-Slapp (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) is a Californian law that Bridgers’ team used to suggest that Nelson was in the public eye enough that he would have needed to prove that Bridgers “acted with actual malice”.
“We feel vindicated that the Court recognised this lawsuit as frivolous and without merit,” a spokesperson for the “Motion Sickness” singer said on the case being dropped.
“This victory is important not just for our client but for all those she was seeking to protect by using her platform,” they added.