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Courtney Love, Social Media Defamation Pioneer, Strikes Again

courtney love, lawsuit

Courtney Love is now embroiled in two defamation lawsuits stemming from her, ahem, cavalier manner of making statements using social media platforms. But to understand where she now stands, one needs a little backstory first.

In 2009, Love went on a Twitter rampage against fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, who wound up suing for defamation. Unsurprisingly, Love was a pioneer in online slurring — she was the first celebrity to face legal consequences over a tweet, though she settled out of court by paying the so-called “Boudoir Queen” a whopping $430,000. As THR points out, the court system was then robbed of a chance to set precedent in the unique case, but it looks as if a second (and third!) chance has emerged.

The first case actually dates back to potentially libelous tweets that Love made in 2010 against her former lawyer Rhonda Holmes. As reported last year, the attorney took issue with the very public accusation that she’d been “bought off” after “they got to her,” in regards to an investigation ordered by Love into the management of the estate of Love’s late, great husband, Kurt Cobain. Holmes had allegedly been hired to draw up a formal complaint over stolen property, but the lawsuit stalled for disputed reasons.

Love goes to trial in that case in January, although she is countersuing. For more on the complex details of her attempt to quash the case, visit THR‘s first post of the day. For now, onto the second lawsuit, which returns us to the narrative of Simorangkir.

The designer filed a brand new accusation of defamation against Love on Tuesday (September 17) alleging that the ever-embattled rock’n’roll icon dissed her yet again using social media — Pinterest, this time. In the complaint, attorneys Bryan Freedman and Jesse Kaplan quote Love as writing, “you stole 36 bags of clothing on cctv” and “you stol;e [sic] 36 bags of my txtiles [sic] and designs and are still using my designs.”

In a less typo-riddled and more flowery fashion, the complaint says, “Love seeks to use her fame, influence and celebrity, in particular in fashion circles, to undermine Simorangkir’s efforts to rebuild. In narcissistic fashion, Love flagrantly taunted Simorangkir about Love’s power and influence: ‘oh wait i have 5500 followers you have what? a few hundred on pintersst [sic], hmmm dawn wonder why, oh right im [sic] me.’ Clearly, Love has not learned her lesson.”

Ironically, a second facet of the same filing hails from a recent interview with radio show host Howard Stern in which Love claimed to have learned her lesson. Asked about her tendency toward Twitter tirades, the singer said she’d gotten all of that in check, and then apparently demonstrated her ability to rant in an IRL format. The filing points out that Stern, a “shock jock” by trade, admonished his guest for talking a little too off-the-cuff:

“Love blatantly defamed Simorangkir by falsely accusing her of stealing from Love and claiming that this purported theft was captured on closed circuit television videos. Love even went as far as to falsely claim that Simorangkir had engaged in prostitution. Love’s reckless comments and flippant attitude seemed to shock even Stern, who admonished Love for ‘lashing out.’ Significantly, Stern warned Love that ‘You can’t just blurt things out.'”

You see, that’s where you’re wrong, Howard. Love will always find a way.