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Courtney Love is no stranger to making controversial comments, but a series of angry remarks she made via a social networking site have thrust her into the middle of uncharted legal territory, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Involved in a billing dispute with designer Dawn Simorangkir, also known as the "Boudoir Queen," Love launched a stream of scathing attacks via her Twitter feed - which, at the time, had at least 40,000 followers - and her MySpace and Etsy.com accounts over a four day period in 2009. The designer brought a lawsuit alleging that her career was destroyed by Love's comments, which could lead to a multi-million dollar damage settlement.
The case comes to a head in a Los Angeles courtroom January 18 as Love will be a part of the first high-profile defamation trial over a celebrity's remarks made via Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site.
While Love's attorney contends that no harm was done to Simorangkir's reputation and that the rock star was allegedly only repeating in her tweets information that the designer shared with her, the case will hinge on whether or not the court decides that
celebrities should be held to the same standard as the news media when it comes to the dissemination of false or damaging statements. A secondary, but related issue, deals with whether or not Love's Twitter followers would view her statements as fact or opinion.
To bolster her case, Simorangkir plans to call a social media expert who will testify as to the number of people who saw the tweets and the relative credibility that followers afforded the statements.
To counter, a witness for Love will present what is essentially an insanity defense for her actions; arguing that the site became so appealing and addicting to her that she lost sight of her how remarks would be interpreted by others.