LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Addressing a music producer’s libel lawsuit alleging Phoebe Bridger’s misrepresentations on social media as part of a vendetta to destroy her reputation, the indie rock musician says in new court documents that she believed the statements she had made were true.
Plaintiff Chris Nelson filed the lawsuit Sept. 28 in Los Angeles Superior Court, also alleging false light and emotional distress.
On Monday, lawyers for Bridgers, 27, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on freedom of speech grounds.
“Mr. Nelson is seeking to cool Ms. Bridgers’ allegations of abusive conduct, which are protected by the First Amendment,’ Bridgers’ attorneys say in their court papers.
In his lawsuit, Nelson alleges that after his relationship with his former girlfriend, Emily Bannon, ended in 2019, Bridgers continued a relationship with her while posting false claims about Nelson on Instagram.
According to the lawsuit, Bridgers posted statements in 2020 on her public Instagram account, called @_fake_nudes at the time, stating that she “witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (care, theft, violence) perpetrated by Chris Nelson.
Nelson also alleges that Bridgers directed his followers to Bannon’s page, which accused Nelson of hate crimes, robberies and racially motivated assaults.
But in his statement, Bridgers defends his comments. She also talks about her life as a bisexual woman and how she stands up for women who have suffered in abusive relationships.
“I believe the statements I made in my Instagram Story are true,” Bridgers said. “My statements were made on the basis of my personal knowledge, including statements that I personally heard Mr. Nelson make, as well as my own observations. I continue to believe that the statements I made were true.
Bridgers adds, “I had no part in composing Emily Bannon’s Instagram post.”
Like all Instagram stories, hers appeared on the platform for just 24 hours, Bridgers says.
Bridgers further says that she is ‘open about my bisexuality and has been a strong advocate for women’s rights. I also denounced racist, xenophobic and misogynistic behaviour.”
The singer says she spoke in a media interview about her relationship with musician Ryan Adams and how she allegedly became emotionally abusive.
‘I have expressed my support for the women who have come forward with allegations of abuse against Marilyn Manson, a musician, including recounting my own experience of visiting his home as a teenager, and my description of that experience has been reported in the media,” Bridgers said.
The singer further says that she has raised funds for many charities that support women and that she supports Planned Parenthood. Bridgers says she is a major contributor and supporter of the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles and that in 2020 she requested that all proceeds from a song she released go “in perpetuity” to the center.
‘I support RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and have donated $1 from every ticket on my Reunion 2021 tour to this organization, contributing over $87,000 in total,’ says Bridgers . “I also released a song in collaboration with the Metallica Blacklist project and selected RAINN to benefit from the proceeds.”
In their court documents, Bridgers’ attorneys claim that Nelson “presented himself as a public figure and willingly interfered in this dispute.” Therefore, he is a limited-purpose public figure who must prove that Ms. Bridgers acted with real malice, which he cannot do.
Bridgers, Nelson and Bannon were a couple until Bannon ended his relationship with Nelson, then in 2020 made ‘a number of statements critical of Mr Nelson’s character and behavior’, lawyers claim of Bridgers in their court documents.
‘Ms. Bridgers then independently posted an Instagram story stating that she had witnessed Mr. Nelson’s abusive behavior and warned those considering working with him to review Ms. Bannon’s post,’ the claims say. Bridgers’ lawyers in their court documents.
A hearing on Bridgers’ motion to dismiss is scheduled for March 10 before Judge Curtis A. Kin. The singer was a musical guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2020.