the law

Phoebe Bridgers Sued for Defamation by Producer Alleging Past Relationship

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Phoebe Bridgers is being sued for defamation by a producer whom she previously accused of abusive behavior. Chris Nelson filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday against the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, per People, over comments she made on Instagram alleging she witnessed “grooming, stealing, [and] violence” by Nelson. A representative for Bridgers was not available for comment. In the lawsuit — which seeks at least $3.8 million in damages — Nelson reportedly claimed he and his then-girlfriend, Emily Bannon, used to have consensual sex with Bridgers, beginning around 2018. (Bridgers has never released music with Nelson.) He claimed he later learned Bridgers and Bannon, a voice actor, had a past relationship that also allegedly involved Conor Oberst, the Bright Eyes bandleader whom Bridgers performs with as Better Oblivion Community Center. Per Nelson, he broke up with Bannon in fall 2019, but she continued dating Bridgers; Bridgers never confirmed a relationship with Bannon, but the two attended GQ’s “Men of the Year” party together that December.

In October 2020, Bridgers allegedly posted on Instagram that she could “personally verify much of the abuse” by Nelson, who owns the Los Angeles studio Sound Space, and pointed her followers to Bannon’s account. There, Bannon detailed a slew of allegations against Nelson, from a hate-crime killing to fraud to hacking women’s email accounts. Nelson’s lawsuit is claiming these allegations were “maliciously and intentionally” spread as part of “a vendetta” that he accused Bridgers and Bannon of having against him, tracing back to their relationship. Nelson previously filed a lawsuit against Bannon in Los Angeles in December 2020, accusing her of defamation along with assault and battery.

This story has been updated throughout.

Phoebe Bridgers Sued for Defamation by Producer