By Sam Sodomsky, Matthew Strauss.
Frank Ocean’s legal battle with his father Calvin Cooksey continues. This past January, Cooksey filed a lawsuit against Ocean, claiming that his son defamed him in a June 2016 Tumblr essay. In May, Ocean responded to his father’s complaints, writing that his essay “speaks for itself” and asserting that everything he wrote is true. In his response, Ocean outlined 17 “affirmative defenses,” explaining why he believes the case should be dismissed. Cooksey then filed a motion to strike his son’s answers because he believed they “[had] not been alleged with specificity” and that they are also “either factually unsupported or legally insufficient.”
Now, according to a new legal document obtained by Pitchfork, the court has elected to uphold 16 of Ocean’s affirmative defenses and strike only one. Additionally, Judge Stephen V. Wilson explains that he found many of Ocean’s responses to be “completely devoid of any factual support,” noting that most of his defenses are only one sentence. Later, Wilson warns Ocean that if he “is persisting with arguments with no factual support in order to confuse [Cooksey] or hide the truth of the matter,” the court may consider sanctions. He also writes that both parties have engaged “in litigation tactics that are peripheral to the merits or progress of the case,” asserting that the actual issues are “fairly straightforward” and do not warrant “intensive litigation tactics.” Read the full document below. Pitchfork has contacted Frank Ocean’s representatives for comment.
Cooksey claimed in his original suit that the story Ocean told in his June 2016 blog post was false. “I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighborhood diner saying we wouldn’t be served because she was dirty,” Ocean wrote. Cooksey, who is seeking $14.5 million in damages, said the note has “damaged his financial opportunities in film and music.” He also asserted that Ocean “published these falsehoods” “for the financial success of [his] new album [Blonde], and to ruin his father.” Cooksey also brought up Tyler, the Creator in the suit, calling him a “devil worshiper.”
This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.
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