Cardi B’s lawsuit alleging that a YouTube blogger defamed her with “malicious” allegations about drug use, prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases began Monday in federal court in Georgia – and an expert said Rolling stone the rapper has a “good chance” of winning.
“The jurors are all spaced out. They have shields, ”a source told the court, confirming that jury selection was underway on Monday morning despite the ongoing pandemic that had previously caused delays in the case first filed in March 2019.
Cardi, née Belcalis Almánzar, sues Lataha Kebe, a celebrity gossip vlogger, claiming that Kebe was engaged in a campaign to “destroy” the rapper’s reputation with knowingly “false” claims that Cardi worked as a prostitute, used cocaine, cheated on her husband, Offset, and contracted herpes and HPV.
Cardi says the “degrading and harassing” statements began around April 2018, with Kebe posting a video indicating that Cardi’s pregnancy at the time could lead to a child born with an intellectual disability. From there, “Kebe became obsessed with slander and harassment. [Cardi]. In the 16 months preceding the filing of this lawsuit, Kebe released at least 38 videos regarding [the rapper]», Indicates the trial.
A video posted in September 2018 garnered four million views, an audience “considerably” larger than Kebe’s “generally”, according to the complaint.
“Cardi probably has a pretty good chance on this one,” said attorney Michael S. Overing, a defamation and libel law expert who is not involved in the case. Rolling stone. He said the allegedly false claims about Cardi are “very specific factual statements” that can be “easily proven false.”
“Assuming she isn’t a prostitute and hasn’t acted like one, assuming she hasn’t used cocaine and assuming she doesn’t have sexually transmitted diseases [alleged], I think those three things are really going to give him a head start to be able to continue successfully, ”he said.
“But the problem with these lawsuits, traditionally, is that it’s very difficult to prove that you’ve suffered actual damage,” he said. And given that Cardi B is a public figure, the rapper will have to prove that Kebe acted with reckless disregard for the truth.
“This is where the question of actual malice comes in,” he said. Jurors will be asked to consider whether Kebe had a “good faith basis” for each statement before making it.
“Did she have a reasonable investigation that led her to conclude that Cardi was a prostitute?” He asked “What efforts have you made to verify the story?” Did you really go to investigate, or are you just giving the floor to some nutcase? … You have to have something more than that before you ruin someone’s reputation.
Kebe, whose YouTube channel is called unWinewithTashaK, has denied any wrongdoing. She attempted to counter Cardi with allegations of assault and intentional emotional distress, claiming the Grammy winner “began to publicly throw her” online amid their dispute, which led to threats. Judge William M. Ray II dismissed the claims in July.
“Kebe has produced no evidence that the complainant herself threatened Kebe or made him believe she was going to harm him,” said his ruling.