Drag queen sues right-wing blogger for defamation after claiming they exposed their genitals
A drag performer is suing a right-wing blogger for accusing them of indecent exposure during a Pride event in Idaho.
Eric Posey, known in drag as Mona Liza Million, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday (27 September) after right-wing blogger Summer Bushnell posted a video which was reportedly made to look like Posey had exposed their genitals to audience members.
They are currently seeking monetary damages up to and including $10,000 for defamation and defamation by implication, including attorney’s fees and legal costs.
The altered video was allegedly been viewed by at least 20,000 viewers, many of whom proceeded to contact local police in an effort to prosecute Posey on indecent exposure charges.
After reviewing the video, the Coeur d’Alene City Attorney’s Office denied the claims of indecent exposure.
“This office reviewed both the unedited video recording of the incident and an edited video recording that has been widely circulated on various social media platforms,” the statement read.
“The unedited video recordings do not depict any exposure of genitalia.
“The allegations of indecent exposure, or other crimes, cannot be supported by the evidence. Therefore, prosecution is declined.”
‘It is my turn to speak’
The drag artist has since said the video has continued to result in hate directed towards him despite the clip being debunked by authorities.
He said that “provocateurs have continued to spread the doctored video of my performance”, as well as the false allegations of indecent exposure, which forced him to file a defamation suit.
“After three months of silence, it is now my turn to speak,” Posey continued.
“I have no choice but to take legal action to hold those responsible for the lies accountable for their actions.
“My hope is that this civil suit puts a stop to the hateful disinformation campaigns being waged in Idaho.”
The lawsuit, which was filed to the Idaho District Court for Kootenai County, claims that Bushnell sought to attack Pride in the Park by generating false controversy surrounding its performers.
The event gained national attention after the white supremacist group Patriot Front attempted to disrupt the Idaho event, with more than 30 protestors arrested.
“Thousands of people viewed [Bushnell’s] posts and many of them believe Posey committed a serious crime,” attorney Wendy J Olson, who is representing Posey, said.
“Flyers with Bushnell’s doctored photo were posted throughout Coeur d’Alene and he has endured public harassment, hatred, contempt, and ridicule.
“Bushnell lied to gain popularity on social media, but the publicity she received was not free; it came at the expense of Posey’s reputation and emotional wellbeing.”