Who would have ever guessed that Courtney Love would be involved in a court case that could set major precedent over internet defamation laws? Currently, social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are a bit like the Wild West. A person can usually pretty much say whatever they want about another person and not worry about a lawsuit. That could all change depending on the verdict of Courtney Love’s current trial. The case is cleverly being called a “Twibel” suit.
Love’s case is the first time a court has heard a libel suit against a person using Twitter. The case was brought against the Hole lead singer after Love posted a tweet in 2010 which hinted that her former lawyer Rhonda Holmes, who Love hired for a fraud case concerning her late husband Kurt Cobain’s estate, had been “bought off.” Love posted from her now defunct twitter page @CourtneyLoveUK: @noozjunkie I was f***ing devastated when Rhonda J Holmes Esq of san diego was bought off @fairnewsspears perhaps you can get a quote.
Holmes subsequently sued Love in 2011 for defamation. Love took the witness stand on Wednesday. She claimed that she thought the tweet would only reach two people, not the whole world wide web. She also defended her Twitter rights, stating that her tweet was just her own personal opinion.
The trial should finish up sometime next week. An attorney named Brian Claypool, who is not part of the Love case, spoke of the importance of the verdict. “The Courtney Love Twitter lawsuit is monumental because the judge has now determined that tweeting in California can potentially give rise to liability under the theory of defamation. The Courtney Love case will set a precedent that will result in, potentially, the average person being liable as well.”
This is not the first time Love has gotten into trouble with Twitter. In 2011, she tweeted several disparaging remarks about fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir. The designer sued Love for defamation, but the case never went to trial. Love reportedly paid Simorangkir a $430,000 settlement.
Image via Twitter