Court rules that Courtney Love is not as famous as Marlon Brando

Singer argued her Marlon Brando level of fame meant libellous remarks were in public interest

Courtney Love has failed to get a libel suit against her dismissed by claiming that her fame meant her remarks about fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir were in the public interest.

Simorangkir has been seeking redress from Love since the singer accused the designer of theft and prostitution – first on Twitter six years ago and later during an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show in 2013.

Love’s lawyers argued that the singer’s comments “were made in connection with an issue of public interest, which she identifies as being derived from the media coverage of the prior litigation between the parties, coupled with the ‘celebrity’ status of each of them”. As a precedent, they cited a case that involved Marlon Brando, in which it was ruled that stories about the actor’s housekeeper being included in his will were in the public interest due to the level of Brando’s celebrity.

But according to The Hollywood Reporter, a California court has ruled that Love is nowhere near as famous as Brando. “Nothing in the record in this case suggests that defendant has the public interest or following that Brando had; the only evidence in the record is her self-serving and factually shallow claim, coupled with a profession of celebrity by one of her lawyers,” the court said in its ruling. “Nor is there is any socially important implication in this case akin to that presented by Brando’s gift to his housekeeper to the exclusion of his heirs at law.”

It added that Love’s allegations about Simorangkir “does not involve conduct that could affect large numbers of people beyond the direct participants.”

Courtney Love recently served as executive producer on new Kurt Cobain documentary Cobain: Montage Of Heck. It is the first fully authorised film about the late Nirvana frontman and features previously unreleased music and home movies.
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