Talib Kweli has filed a lawsuit against the website Jezebel, alleging that the website “caused negligent infliction of emotional distress” to the rapper by publishing a 2020 article called “Talib Kweli’s Harassment Campaign Shows How Unprotected Black Women Are Online and Off.”

Kweli filed the lawsuit, obtained by Pitchfork, in a New York court earlier this month. In addition to Jezebel, the website’s parent company (G/O Media) and the article’s author (Ashley Reese) are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

In her article, Reese wrote about how Kweli was “permanently suspended” from Twitter after “repeated violations” of the site’s rules. The article also described the rapper’s online interactions with a then-24-year-old student and activist named Maya Moody.

In the lawsuit, which Kweli filed on his own behalf, the rapper claims that 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.”

Kweli also writes that the article caused him to go “into a depression state of loss of appetite, sleeplessness, edgy, anxiety, and discomfort around certain women due to being targeted by this defendant.”

Kweli, whose legal name is Talib Kweli Greene, is asking for $300,000 in damages. He argues in the lawsuit: “Because of the facts and circumstances stated above, the defendant has caused Mr. Greene almost $1 Million in revenue. In addition, Mr. Greene gets $25,000.00 per appearance within 24 months totaling $600,000.00. During the last 24 months, besides Covid, Mr. Greene has been getting backlash from the article and has lost 50% of his salary, costing him $300,000.00.”

In a statement shared by Jezebel, a G/O Media spokesperson wrote:

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.

Pitchfork has reached out to a representative for Talib Kweli for additional comment and information.


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