Feb 27, 2015

Love is No Brando, So Pinterest Libel Suit Proceeds

Courtney Love is no Marlon Brando, a California appeals court has ruled, so a lawsuit against her over postings on Pintrist and comments on the Howard Stern Show can proceed.

The lawsuit against Love was brought by fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, after the two had a falling out. A previous lawsuit Simorangkir against Love over comments posted on Twitter was settled in 2011. Simorangkir then filed a second suit against Love when the signer made new comments accusing Simoracngkir of stealing from her.

Love sought to have the case dismissed under California's anti-SLAPP statute, Cal. Civ. Proc. section 425.16, which allows for early dismissal of lawsuits stemming from comments on a matter of public interest. In her argument for such a dismissal, Love cited Hall v. Time Warner, Inc., 153 Cal.App.4th 1337 (2007), in which a lawsuit brought by Marlon Brando’s former housekeeper over coverage of Brando's will, which named the housekeeper as a beneficiary. The appeals court dismissed the 2007 case under the anti-SLAPP statute, holding that Brando's will was a matter of public concern because of the actor's high profile.

In Love's case, the court rejected Love's claim that she had similar stautus. "Nothing in the record in this case suggests that defendant has the public interest or following that Brando had," the court ruled. "[T]the only evidence in the record is her self-serving and factually shallow claim, coupled with a profession of celebrity by one of her lawyers." The court also concluded that the plaintiff, Simorangkir, was not well-known enough to make the statements of general public interest.

So Simorangkir's lawsuit against Love can proceed. And if it goes to trial, it apparently will be the first libel lawsuit based on a post on Pinterest.


Eric P. Robinson said...

According to The Hollywood Reporter this lawsuit has been settled before trial, with Love paying Simorangkir $350,000.

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