Talib Kweli sues Jezebel over “negligent infliction of emotional distress” from 2020 article
Talib Kweli has filed a lawsuit against website Jezebel over their 2020 post, "Talib Kweli's Harassment Campaign Shows How Unprotected Black Women Are Online and Off". The suit, which Kweli filed on his own behalf, names Jezebel's parent company, G/O Media, and Ashley Reese, who wrote the post, as defendants. Talib requests $300,000 in damages over the "negligent infliction of emotional distress" he claims the site caused with the article, which details his suspension from Twitter after "repeated violations" of their rules.
In the suit, Kweli writes that the article sent him "into a depression state of loss of appetite, sleeplessness, edgy, anxiety, and discomfort around certain women due to being targeted by this defendant." He also claims Jezebel "took advantage of Talib and used him as a guinea pig to clarify how [B]lack men treat [B]lack women; meanwhile, the plaintiff never harassed anyone; he was defending himself and his family."
"The plaintiff is an artist that wrote the song 'Brown skin lady' and has thousands of women fans that are light skin, brown skin, dark skin, and of various colors and races," the suit continues. "His ex-wife and children's mother are also brown-skinned. In reply, he is defending his brand, his family, and his fans. The plaintiff's actions are not a 'jump to the conclusion'; this is the plaintiff's lifestyle and the way he makes his money, if anyone states anything to discredit his brand, he has to defend himself."
A statement from a G/O Media spokesperson about the suit reads, "Jezebel’s article fairly reported on the controversy which led to the permanent suspension of Talib Kweli’s Twitter account. This suit, filed two years after the story was published, has no merit and the company will be seeking our attorneys fees pursuant to the protections afforded to the press to publish stories about matters of public interest like this one."