Rock star Courtney Love has settled the lawsuit brought against her by fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, aka the “Bourdoir Queen”, after claiming that Love defamed her in a serious of messages sent via Twitter and Love’s MySpace profile.
The cost? $430,000. I’m not quite sure how that works out per tweet, but it’s reassuringly expensive.
There are bigger repercussions here for everybody on Twitter – not just celebrities – as defamation has long been an issue (and one that I have repeatedly highlighted).
As Reuters explains:
The settlement ends a case that was watched as closely for the unique legal issues in play as the often-erratic behavior of the defendant. Simorangkir, who became embroiled in a dispute with Love over a $4000 payment for clothing, accused the Hole frontwoman of ruining her business with a series of allegedly defamatory tweets posted during a 20 minute rant in 2009. The trial, which was originally scheduled for late January but was postponed when the parties began talking settlement, would have been the first high-profile courtroom showdown over what constitutes defamation on Twitter.
Love argued that her rantings were merely an expression of opinion and that Simorangkir could not prove how they damaged her. The fashion designer, on the other hand, pointed to Love’s influence as an entertainer and the power of social media to disseminate damaging comments, including that Simorangkir was an “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief.”
“The amount of the settlement says it all,” Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter. “Her reprehensible defamatory comments were completely false and $430,000 is quite a significant way to say I am sorry. One would hope that, given this disaster, restraint of pen, tongue and tweet would guide Ms. Love’s future conduct.”
Love attorney James Janowitz said he was pleased with the deal. “Because of the extended payout it’s a modest settlement,” Janowitz added, noting that Simorangkir had asked for “vastly more” in discussions. “They got out with an amount that left them bragging rights but nothing else.”
Love is no longer active on Twitter, having quit the network after ‘accidentally‘ sending explicit photographs of herself to all of her followers, instead of her boyfriend as intended. Whether she’ll return now that the case is over is unclear, but for the sake of her health – mental and financial – staying away might be for the best.