Drag queen completely owns right-wing blogger in defamation win

A right wing blogger is literally paying the consequences for sharing a doctored video that falsely characterized a drag performance as public exposure. Eric Posey, who performs in drag as Mona Liza Million, prevailed in a defamation lawsuit, securing over $1.1 million in damages.

In September 2022, Summer Bushnell—who runs the blog the “The Bushnell Report”—posted a video of Posey’s performance at a Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to her Facebook account. The area around Posey’s pelvis was blurred to make it appear as though he had exposed himself. An unedited version of the video, evidenced in court, shows that Posey never removed his clothing.

Bushnell began her post complaining about a recent mass arrest involving the white nationalist group Patriot Front that same day. “Can this guy be arrested for exposing his genitals to minors?” Bushnell said, referring to Posey. “No one said anything about it and there’s video. I’m going to put up a blurred video to prove it.” She then directed followers to report Posey to the police and ​​the state’s attorney general.

The video was viewed over 19,000 times. According to NBC News, local police confirmed they’d received calls reporting Posey, none of which came from people who had actually attended the event.

On Friday, a jury agreed that Bushnell had defamed Posey, awarding him $926,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages on the basis that lawyers had demonstrated  Bushnell knew her claims were false.

“Mr. Posey’s life was forever changed when Summer Bushnell falsely accused him of a crime,” Posey’s attorney Wendy Olson said. “The jury’s unanimous verdict and its award of $1.176 million in damages sends the clear message that truth matters, that facts matter and that you can’t dehumanize and damage someone to suit your own purposes.”

“I am so grateful that the jury was attentive and rejected the lies that put me in a dark place for nearly two years,” Posey said. 

During statements in court on Thursday, Posey recalled that dark place. “Imagine being in a dark hole where you have nobody and you felt the whole world turn their back on you,” he said. “But somehow, you were surrounded by warriors, true people of Idaho, not transplants, true people of this soil. I am fortunate to say I have people like that around me, people [who] lifted me up.”

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