Phoebe Bridgers has responded to recording studio owner Chris Nelson’s defamation lawsuit. In a new filing, the singer said she stood by her October 2020 Instagram post statements accusing Nelson of “grooming, stealing, [and] violence.” Bridgers’ legal team filed an anti-SLAPP motion, claiming the suit sought to suppress her First Amendment right to free speech.
“I believe that the statements I made in my Instagram story are true. My statements were made based on my personal knowledge, including statements I personally heard Mr. Nelson make, as well as my own observations,” Bridgers wrote in an sworn declaration filed Monday in Los Angeles. “I continue to believe the statements that I made were true.”
In her original Instagram post, Bridgers came out in support of Nelson’s ex Emily Bannon, writing: “I witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson, owner of a studio called Sound Space. For anyone who knows [Nelson], is considering working with him, or wants to know more, there is an articulate and mind-blowing account on @emilybannon’s page as a highlight. TRIGGER WARNING for basically triggering everything.”
Nelson originally filed a September 2021 defamation suit against Bridgers, seeking $3.8 million, claiming Bridgers defamed him. Last month, a Los Angeles County judge dismissed another defamation suit of Nelson’s against Noël Wells, arguing that Wells had a free speech right to warn Big Thief against working with the producer in a private email, describing his behavior as “incredibly predatory.”