Courtney Love has avoided another legal battle by settling a lawsuit brought against her by Dawn Simorangkir, a designer who says she defamed her on Twitter. Love agreed to pay Simorangkir $430,000 in installments through 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
As we discussed earlier, the two were feuding over Simorangkir's claim that Love owed her thousands of dollars for clothing. In March 2009, Love ranted about Simorangkir on several social networking sites (and even Etsy), saying she was a prostitute, a drug-dealer, and a thief.
Had the case gone to trial, Simorangkir would have had to prove that Love's bizarre Twitter rants have enough credibility to damage one's reputation. Love argued that her followers consider her ramblings opinions, and her lawyers had medical experts ready to testify that her "mental state was not 'subjectively malicious' enough to justify the defamation lawsuit."
The trial, which was scheduled for January, was postponed when they started talking about settling, and both sides think they got the better end of the deal. From The Hollywood Reporter:
"The amount of the settlement says it all," Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman tells THR. "Her reprehensible defamatory comments were completely false and $430,000 is quite a significant way to say I am sorry. One would hope that, given this disaster, restraint of pen, tongue and tweet would guide Ms. Love's future conduct."
Love attorney James Janowitz says he's pleased with the deal. "Because of the extended payout it's a modest settlement," Janowitz tells us, adding that Simorangkir had asked for "vastly more" in discussions. "They got out with an amount that left them bragging rights but nothing else."
The case was being watched closely, as it would have been the first ruling on what constitutes defamation on Twitter. To find out, we'll just have to wait until another wacky celebrity (cough Charlie Sheen) is accused of bashing someone in 140 characters or less.