Three years ago, Courtney Love became the first big celebrity to be sued for defamation over comments she made on Twitter towards a fashion designer. The case seemed primed to explore cutting-edge issues including the credibility of statements made on a casual social media forum, the extent of damages when tweets (and retweets) are seen by tens of thousands of followers, and whether there's any insanity defense to be mustered from a so-called Twitter addiction.
The plaintiff in that case was Dawn Simorangkir, also known as the “Boudoir Queen.” The case never went to trial because Love agreed to pay $430,000 to Simorangkir to settle it. That only bought Love temporary peace, though. Love soon became the first celebrity to be sued a second time when the singer tweeted that one of her former attorneys "was bought off." (We covered that case earlier today.)
In a development that is shockingly not-so-shocking, Courtney Love is now being sued for defamation yet again. Since it's the details that count, Simorangkir is back with a lawsuit filed on Tuesday that points to comments made by Love toward her on another social media forum, Pinterest. And the trouble doesn't end there.
The new lawsuit also addresses an interview that Love gave to radio shock jock Howard Stern on May 30, where she was asked to address her twitter habits and the prior Simorangkir lawsuit.
Love said she had learned her lesson.
"Ironically, in the same breath," says Simorangkir's complaint, "Love blatantly defamed Simorangkir by falsely accusing her of stealing from Love and claiming that this purported theft was captured on closed circuit television videos. Love even went as far as to falsely claim that Simorangkir had engaged in prostitution. Love’s reckless comments and flippant attitude seemed to shock even Stern, who admonished Love for 'lashing out.' Significantly, Stern warned Love that 'You can’t just blurt things out.'"
Few have ever accused Love of exhibiting impulse-control. In the latest lawsuit, it's mentioned that Love "hired an addiction psychiatrist to try to assert a so-called insanity defense" in Simorangkir's first defamation claim. Love's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, once said that "Twitter should ban my mother,” a statement that made its way into Love's ongoing defamation battle with ex-attorney Rhonda Holmes, which is set for a trial this January.
Back to Simorangkir's newest claim and the Howard Stern interview...
According to the complaint, "What Stern did not know is that Simorangkir has again found herself to be a target of Love's obsessive behavior, this time on Pinterest, a popular social media website... Perhaps forgetful of the past, Love has made her intentions clear. Love seeks to use her fame, influence and celebrity, in particular in fashion circles, to undermine Simorangkir’s efforts to rebuild. In narcissistic fashion, Love flagrantly taunted Simorangkir about Love’s power and influence: 'oh wait i have 5500 followers you have what? a few hundred on pintersst, hmmm dawn wonder why, oh right im me.' Clearly, Love has not learned her lesson."
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Simorangkir by attorneys Bryan Freedman and Jesse Kaplan, speaks about how Love came to know Simorangkir. The singer learned of the fashion designer through Etsy, an online design marketplace, and began to purchase Bourdoir Queen clothing and apparel. Then, Love allegedly became "infatuated" with Simorangkir, flying the designer out to Los Angeles to meet at the singer's Malibu home. They had several meetings, before Love eventually became "angered that she had to pay for Simorangkir's work." The conflict evolved from there.
Simorangkir says that Love has "mounted a malicious campaign to not only terrorize Simorangkir, but to ruin and destroy her reputation and livelihood."
The latest cited examples of this come from Pinterest. Love's comments there include "you stole 36 bags of clothing on cctv" and "you stol;e 36 bags of my txtiles and designs and are still using my designs."
The lawsuit asks for unspecified general, special and punitive damages. Love couldn't immediately be reached.