Courtney Love Talks Ish On Twitter & Pays $430,000 For It
Have you been online talking ish about your stupid ex boyfriend and his awful new chick? Well, it’s time to stop—the online world is no longer your oyster and the comments you make on your Twitter, Facebook or MySpace page could have you paying your hard earned cash to the person you’ve been talking shit about. Case in point: Courtney Love.
Beyond being a notable rock star—and the wife of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain—Courtney Love is infamous for her outspoken ways. But her mouth got her in trouble in March 2009 when she attacked fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir via Twitter and MySpace. Maybe Courtney should have kept her mouth shut, because she now has to pay Simorangkir $430,000 in damages. The case never made it to a jury but it seems this case is setting the example for why people should think twice before expressing themselves online. According to MSNBC:
Simorangkir sued over several postings written under Love’s former Twitter account, courtneylover79, that accused the designer, who is known as Boudoir Queen, of theft and of having a criminal background. Simorangkir’s lawsuit claimed Love became angry with her after she completed five outfits for the singer and sent her a bill.
The case had been scheduled to go to trial in February, and was expected to be the first in which a jury decides whether a celebrity’s Twitter posts could be considered libel.
For those familiar with Courtney’s mostly eloquent tendency for controversy shouldn’t be shocked by Courtney’s having to write a check her mouth is making her cash.
“The widow of grunge rocker Kurt Cobain, Love has gained a reputation on the microblogging service Twitter with her posts, which are occasionally profane and sometimes nonsensical messages on a variety of topics. Several posts have lashed out at attorneys and other individuals who have drawn the musician’s ire, with her tweets coming in rapid succession and using every bit of the site’s 140 character maximum per post.”
But this begs the questions? How much is too much and when do your social-media rants go too far?
“People are getting in trouble for Twitter postings on an almost daily basis,” said First Amendment Attorney Doug Mirell, a partner at Loeb and Loeb who did not handle the case.
“The laws controlling what is and isn’t libelous are the same regardless of the medium in which the statements appear,” he said.
Nancy Derwin-Weiss, an attorney who specializes in digital entertainment and advertising law, said the amount was sure to get the attention of stars and their handlers.
“I think it’s just a wake up call,” she said. “It’s something that their advisers should talk to them about.”
Simorangkir’s attorney, Bryan J. Freedman, predicted the case would spark conversations between celebrities and their advisers.
“The fact is that this case shows that the forum upon which you communicate makes no difference in terms of potential legal exposure,” Freedman said. “Disparaging someone on Twitter does not excuse one from liability.”
If celebs have to pay for what they say online, it seems only a matter of time before your “opinions” become another person’s libel suit against you.