A California jury recently decided that Courtney Love should not be held accountable for a tweet she aimed at her former lawyer, Rhonda Holmes. This is the first trial that will involve allegations of slander on Twitter in a U.S. court. Love originally hired Rhoda Holmes in order to deal with a fraud case against the people who managed the estate of Kurt Cobain. However, in 2009, the relationship between Love and Holmes turned sour. Love wrote a tweet that said, ”I was f***ing devestated [sic] when Rhonda J. Holmes esq. of san diego was bought off.”
Holmes decided to sue as she felt her reputation was ruined.
Holmes was considered a limited-purpose public figure because of her brief connection to a celebrity therefore, Holmes needed to show that Love, in fact, acted with malevolence. Love claimed that her tweet was intended to be a private message, and quickly deleted it when she found out it have been made public by accident.
Love also stated that her message was true, when she sent it. The jury was asked the question, ”Did Rhonda Holmes prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that Courtney Love knew it was false or doubted the truth of it?” Their response was “No!”
Apparently, Love was late for court and missed the verdict.
Social media experts hired by Love stated that there was no evidence that Love had ever retweeted her ‘bought off’ tweet. Love was also disappointed that Holmes would do this to her when the lawyer had once stood by her side in the Cobain case. The trial took 8 days and many people who knew Love were featured.
The jury ultimately decided that Holmes had not made a case for slander. Another jury, at a future time, will have to figure out how to assess damages from social media defamation. In the meantime, Love is again facing another trial involving slander against fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir who does not like what Love had to say on Pinterest…sigh.
[Image via aisfm.edu]