Talib Kweli Sues Jezebel Over ‘Emotional Distress’

Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images

Jezebel reports that rapper Talib Kweli is suing the site for $300,000 in damages, claiming they had caused him “emotional distress” for publishing a piece titled “Talib Kweli’s Harassment Campaign Shows How Unprotected Black Women Are Online and Off” in 2020. The article detailed the rapper’s harassment of a 24-year-old woman, Maya A. Moody; he sent hundreds of tweets about her, prompting his followers to harass Moody as well. He was also permanently suspended from Twitter because of the harassment.

Two years after the piece was published, Kweli filed a lawsuit against Jezebel’s parent company G/O Media and the piece’s author Ashley Reese last week. The site claimed that Kweli could’ve sued them for libel, but the statute of limitations had passed last year. He filed a pro se lawsuit, meaning that he is suing on his own behalf and not through a lawyer. Kweli claimed that the piece described him as “some monster that didn’t like black women” and cited his song “Brown Skin Lady” as counter-evidence.

A spokesperson for G/O Media released a statement on the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon: “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.” Jezebel concluded by reiterating that they stand by their original story. Vulture reached out to Kweli for comment on the lawsuit.

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