Courtney Love to pay $430 000 in Twitter case

2011-03-04 07:59

Los Angeles – Rocker Courtney Love has settled the lawsuit brought against her by a fashion designer who claims she was defamed in a series of Twitter messages.

The settlement with Dawn Simorangkir (a.k.a. the “Boudoir Queen’’), which sources say was being finalised yesterday and will be announced next week, will cost Love about $430 000 (nearly R3 billion). The first payment of cash is due Thursday, followed by a series of payments to Simorangkir stretched out until 2014.

The settlement ends a case that was watched as closely for the unique legal issues in play as the often-erratic behaviour of the defendant.

Simorangkir, who became embroiled in a dispute with Love over a $4 000 payment for clothing, accused the Hole frontwoman of ruining her business with a series of allegedly defamatory tweets posted during a 20-minute rant in 2009.

The trial, which was originally scheduled for late January but was postponed when the parties began talking settlement, would have been the first high-profile courtroom showdown over what constitutes defamation on Twitter.

Love argued that her rantings were merely an expression of opinion and that Simorangkir could not prove how they damaged her. The fashion designer, on the other hand, pointed to Love’s influence as an entertainer and the power of social media to disseminate damaging comments, including that Simorangkir was an “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief’’.

“The amount of the settlement says it all,’’ Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter.

“Her reprehensible defamatory comments were completely false and $430 000 is quite a significant way to say I am sorry. One would hope that, given this disaster, restraint of pen, tongue and tweet would guide Ms Love’s future conduct.’’

Love’s attorney James Janowitz said he was pleased with the deal. “Because of the extended payout it’s a modest settlement,’’ Janowitz added, noting that Simorangkir had asked for “vastly more’’ in discussions.

“They got out with an amount that left them bragging rights but nothing else.’’

Will Love continue to express herself on Twitter? “I don’t think she’s using it any more,’’ Janowitz said. “But I could be wrong.’’

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