Designer Sues Courtney Love For Twitter Defamation

Looks like buying a Birkin didn’t turn Courtney Love into a better person for too long, because now she’s being sued for tweeting a few not-so-nice things about designer Dawn Simorangkir. And now, every public figure on Twitter might have to be a little more guarded with what they say.

The rocker got into a pretty public fight with Simorangkir, whose clothes have earned her the nickname “Budoir Queen.” But last spring, the designer started complaining that Love was short by a few thousand dollars in payments. Things heated up until Love found it necessary to make the fight public. According to The Hollywood Reporter, on March 17, 2009 Love sent over 40,000 people the message that Simorangkir was a:

” … drug-pushing prostitute with a history of assault and battery who lost custody of her own child and capitalized on Love’s fame before stealing from her. “She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!”

Simorangkir is suing for defamation and, as Love might have dashed any shot at a lucrative fashion career with these tweets, a boatload of damages that could potentially stretch into the millions.

But beyond going after Love’s unchecked thumbs and sizeable coffers, the Simorangkir suit asks whether or not our Twitter followers — and especially those of public figures — read tweets as opinion or as fact. If the twitter feed of a celebrity like Love is determined to be a credible news source (as opposed to just a place where anyone can say anything they like about whomever or whatever they want without consequence), the same libel rules that apply to newspapers could quite easily be applied to Kanye West’s best tweets.

The trial starts in a Los Angeles court Jan. 18. Ashton Kutcher and Lady Gaga will, no doubt, await the ruling with bated breath.

Courtney Love’s Tweets Lead to Unique Defamation Showdown [The Hollywood Reporter]
Courtney Love Sued For Defamation Over Vicious Tweets [Gawker via Business Insider]

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