Lovers of libel law and haters of bullying – cyber and otherwise – will be pleased to learn that original trainwreck Courtney Love has settled a lawsuit by agreeing to pay $430,000 to a fashion designer for writing defamatory Tweets about her in 2009. Courtney, singer in the band Hole, will be making payments to Dawn Simorangkir (a.k.a. the “Boudoir Queen”) until 2014, for Tweeting, among other things, that Simorangkir was an “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief.”
Tweeters around the world are calling this an expensive lesson, and have created a new word for this kind of online ranting: “Twibel.”
It is just another example of Love: singer, actress and general celebrity-for-being-Kurt-Cobain’s-widow, taking her private business public. In the past she has garnered publicity for ranting on Twitter about ex-fiance and actor Edward Norton and blogging on Facebook about her then-custody arrangement of her daughter Frances Bean Cobain.
Many of these online temper tantrums are not harmless “free speech,” as lawyers for Love argued in the Simorangkir case. Love’s notoriety means her abusive comments now carry a price tag.