- 15 Feb 22
The lawsuit comes after Phoebe Bridgers voiced support for her friend Emily Bannon on her Instagram story.
Phoebe Bridgers has responded to the defamation lawsuit levied by recording studio owner Chris Nelson, writing in a sworn declaration, "I believe the statements I made in my Instagram story are true."
The declaration is tied to a motion to strike Nelson's complaint, on the basis that the lawsuit is seeking to distract from Bridgers allegations of witnessing abusive conduct from the Sound Space owner.
It goes on to say, "My statements were made based on my personal knowledge, including statements I personally heard Mr. Nelson make, as well as my own observations. I continue to believe the statements that I made were true."
Nelson sued Bridgers in September, after she posted to her instagram a link to her friend — and Nelson's ex-girlfriend — Emily Bannon's story, titled “I stand in solidarity with those coming forward with allegations against Chris Nelson.”
"I witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson, owner of a studio called Sound Space,” said Bridgers in her post. "For anyone who knows [Nelson], is considering working with him, or wants to know more, there is an articulate and mind-blowing account on @emilybannon’s page as a highlight. TRIGGER WARNING for basically everything triggering."
Though the post was only up for 24 hours, Nelson claimed she "maliciously and intentionally" shared her statements via social media, knowing full-well that they were "false." He labeled the post as misleading, claiming damages of at least $3.8 million.
According to US defamation laws, since Nelson is considered a public figure, he must prove she posted with "actual malice," or knowledge that her statements were false. Since verifying her remarks in a sworn declaration, it's now up to the court to sustain or strike the lawsuit.
This is Nelson's third high-profile lawsuit, after he sued Bannon for defamation in December of 2020. That same month, the studio owner sued Noël Wells after the singer warned indie band Big Thief of his "incredibly predatory" behaviour.
The case was tossed, as Wells' statements were protected under the First Amendments Free Speech provision.