Phoebe Bridgers Granted Motion Dismissing Defamation Lawsuit

A judge has granted Phoebe Bridgers‘ motion to dismiss a defamation suit against her.

Chris Nelson, a producer, had sued Bridgers last September seeking $3.8 million, claiming she defamed him through comments made on Instagram attesting to his alleged abusive behavior.

In October 2020, Bridgers posted on Instagram in support her friend Emily Bannon, who formerly dated Nelson, calling him out for abusive misconduct. She reportedly wrote, “I witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson.”

Judge Curtis A. Kin, citing anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), ruled that Bridgers’ Instagram stories were protected speech. 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 Bridgers said in a statement. “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.”

(Photo: Frank Ockenfels)

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