Jury Sides With Courtney Love In Twitter Libel Trial


Twitter Libel Case Courtney Love

The jury sided with Courtney Love in a landmark Twitter libel trial, ruling that the singer didn’t defame her former attorney on the social network site in 2010. The jury’s verdict added that they believe Love wrote the tweet in question, but plaintiff Rhonda Holmes didn’t prove using clear and convincing evidence that the singer knew her statement was false.

The so-called “Twibel” case is the first of its kind to go to trial and, as such, was followed closely by the legal community because of its potential to be used in future rulings. Social media law professor Ellyn Angelotti told NBC News that she was surprised by the verdict. She explained, “Because in a traditional analysis of defamation, the tweet is a published statement to a third party of and concerning another person, I am surprised.”

In the tweet, Courtney Love suggested Holmes took a bribe when she backed out of a legal battle the singer was waging with the managers of her late husband’s estate, notes ABC News. She was married to Kurt Cobain from 1992 until his death in 1994. The jury handed down its verdict after deliberating for three hours.

While Love wasn’t present in court, she explained to Spin magazine later that she was “relieved.” She explained, “I feel really good. I am relieved. I am really happy to have had good counsel for the first time in 24 years.” During the trial, Love explained that her 2010 tweet was meant to be a direct message and was only meant to reach out to Holmes, whom she hadn’t spoken to in months.

Love told jurors, “I wanted to know what happened to Rhonda. So that’s why I gave her name specifically. I’m sort of a computer retard. Now I know how to direct-message perfectly, but then I didn’t. I thought I was making a private message.” The singer apparently deleted the tweet less than an hour after it was posted.

While a handful of Twitter libel cases have been filed in the past, Courtney Love’s was the first to make it to trial in the US.

[Image: whittlz]


Melissa Stusinski
Melissa grew up in the Seattle area, but moved to Indiana to attend Anderson University in 2005 and was editor at the school's Literary Arts Magazine for two years. When she isn't focused on writing, Melissa enjoys working on cars, gaming, and exploring new places. [Contact: [email protected]]

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