Judge Dismisses One of Two Gaslamp Killer Defamation Claims
In October, the psychedelic beat music producer the Gaslamp Killer (aka William Bensussen) was accused of raping two women, and subsequently sued both women for defamation. Now, a judge has dismissed his claim against one of the defendants while allowing the other to proceed, Pitchfork reports.
Chelsea Tadros, one of the two women, first posted her accusation to Twitter, writing that Bensussen approached her and her friend RaeAn Medina at a party in Los Angeles in July 2013, offering them drinks. “That is the last clear memory I have, and that was our first drink of the day,” Tadros wrote in part. “After that, everything is pitch black except for a few sharp but at the same time, blurry, memories.” Bensussen wrote in a statement at the time that Tadros’s account “is not true.”
Bensussen filed a defamation lawsuit against Tadros and Medina the following month, alleging in his complaint that the women approached him for sex, and that witnesses could affirm that he did not tamper with their drinks. Now, according to Pitchfork, an L.A. Superior Court judge has thrown out the claim against Medina. The judge cited a motion filed by Medina’s attorneys under California’s anti-SLAPP law, which protects against lawsuits that threaten a defendant’s free speech rights.
The judge also dismissed Bensussen’s “intentional infliction of emotional distress” claim against Tadros, but allowed his libel claim against her to proceed. Tadros had also filed an anti-SLAPP motion, but hers was denied.
Correction (3/15): This post initially stated that Bensussen filed two separate lawsuits against Tadros and Medina, when in fact he filed a single suit that named both women as defendants. Spin regrets the error.