Artist News Legal

Phoebe Bridgers sued for alleged defamation

By | Published on Thursday 30 September 2021

Phoebe Bridgers

Recording engineer Chris Nelson has sued Phoebe Bridgers for $3.8 million, accusing her of defamation by spreading accusations of fraud, theft and “racially motivated hate crimes” against him online.

Owner of the Sound Space recording studio in LA, Nelson says that he met Bridgers several years ago with a view to recording together, although that never actually happened. However, he claims, in 2018 he and his then-girlfriend “began having consensual sexual encounters” with Bridgers.

He split with his girlfriend the following year, he says, but she and Bridgers “continued their relationship”. Then in October last year, the lawsuit claims, Bridgers posted on Instagram that she had “witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson”. She also directed her followers to his ex-girlfriend’s account, where further allegations were detailed.

These allegations included that he sold fake rare guitars, stole tens of thousands of dollars from a neighbour and hacked women’s email accounts, and that he was also guilty of “racially motivated hate crimes”, including beating “a young Latinx man to death” and “bludgeoned at least one other man with a baseball bat”. Bridgers also shared these claims on her own Instagram account, it is claimed.

All of these allegations are false, says Nelson, and Bridgers “intentionally used her high-profile public platform on Instagram to publish false and defamatory statements regarding [Nelson] in order to destroy his reputation”. He claims that Bridgers and his ex-girlfriend have a “vendetta” against him.

In December last year, Nelson filed another defamation lawsuit against musician and actor Noël Wells. In that, he claimed that Wells had contacted an artist manager with whom he had a working relationship, telling said manager that he had “committed an ‘incredibly predatory move on [her]'” and that he “exhibited ‘incredibly predatory behaviour’ … toward young females including young female musicians”.

In the new lawsuit, Nelson is seeking $3.8 million from Bridgers for defamation, the related tort of ‘false light’, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations. Bridgers has not yet commented.