Grammy-nominated musician Phoebe Bridgers is being sued for $3.8 million by music producer Chris Nelson for allegedly publishing “false and misleading statements” about him online. Nelson, the owner of Sound Space recording studio, is seeking damages for alleged defamation, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations.
While the two never had a working relationship, the suit says “in or around 2018, [Nelson] and his girlfriend at the time… began having consensual sexual encounters with Bridgers.” According to the suit, Nelson and his girlfriend Emily Bannon broke up in fall of 2019, while Bannon and Bridgers continued their relationship.
Nelson alleges Bridgers made “false and misleading statements about [him],” on her public Instagram account, including that she “witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson.”
Bridgers then allegedly directed her followers to Bannon’s Instagram account, where he was accused of racially motivated hate crimes such as “beat[ing] a young Latinx man to death. ” According to People, Nelson also claims he was falsely accused of fraud and theft on Bannon’s Instagram, including claims he defrauded buyers by selling them fake rare guitars, stole $50,000 from a neighbor, and hacked women’s email accounts.
In the suit, it’s stated Nelson “believes that defendant Bridgers maliciously and intentionally posted the false and defamatory statements about [him] as part of a vendetta to destroy [his] reputation that was enflamed by defendant Bridgers and [his ex-girlfriend’s] sexual relationship.”
This is not Nelson’s only ongoing lawsuit alleging defamatory statements. The producer worked with musician and former SNL actor Noël Wells on her 2019 debut album, It’s So Nice! In December of 2020, Nelson filed a lawsuit against Wells seeking damages for alleged defamation, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, and negligent interference with prospective economic relation. According to Pitchfork, the suit filed by Nelson against Wells reads:
“Wells intentionally and willfully contacted a music artist manager with whom [Nelson] had a working, professional relationship stating falsely that [Nelson] committed an “incredibly predatory move on [her].” Defendant Wells also stated falsely that [Nelson] exhibited “incredibly predatory behavior... toward young females including young female musicians.” In making the false, defamatory, and misleading statements, Defendants Wells intended to interfere with and damage [Nelson]’s business and working relationship with the music manager.”
In the same month, Nelson filed a similar lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend Bannon, while also accusing her of assault and battery. In the suit obtained by Pitchfork, Nelson alleges Bannon “published false, defamatory, and misleading statements about [him] stating, among other things, that [Nelson] is a career criminal, murdered a man, commits racially-motivated hate crimes, abuses women, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, trafficked in stolen or fake goods, committed cybercrimes, and defrauded numerous people.”
Both suits against Wells and Bannon are currently active and ongoing, with hearings scheduled in November.
The A.V. Club reached out to Bridgers’ representatives, however they weren’t available for a comment.