Talib Kweli Claims Emotional Distress in $300,000 Lawsuit Over Jezebel Article on His Twitter Ban

Talib Kweli filed a lawsuit against Jezebel claiming a 2020 piece centered around him being permanently banned from Twitter caused emotional distress.

Talib Kweli takes photo during visit to Build Studio.

Talib Kweli takes photo during visit to Build Studio.

Talib Kweli takes photo during visit to Build Studio.

Jezebel reports the site’s parent company G/O Media and one writer are being sued by Talib Kweli over the emotional distress caused by a 2020 piece exploring his permanent suspension from Twitter

Kweli, 46, announced via Instagram in late July 2020 that he was leaving Twitter, but Jezebel revealed in its piece penned by Ashley Reese (who left the outlet this year) that the rapper was removed from the platform for “repeated violations of Twitter rules” after he sent an unrelenting barrage of tweets over the course of several weeks in an attempt to discredit then-24-year-old student and activist Maya Moody. His fans are accused of sending threats of sexual abuse and death to Moody, as well as exposing personal information about her and her family. 

When a Twitter user mentioned Kweli had been incessantly harassing Moody on Twitter for 13 hours, he replied, “I can go for 13 years if you come for my family. I’m just getting started.”

The Black Star member’s behavior came as Moody brought up colorism in a conversation about the wives of a number of artists, including Kweli. 

“Nah let’s have this convo today,” Kweli responded on Twitter the next day. “Are we talking all of my relationships? My children’s mother as well? Or are you only talking about who you think I’m currently in a relationship right now? I mean, is any of this really any of your business?”

Kweli claims in his suit that the article used him as “guinea pig to clarify how black men treat black women,” and sent him “into a depression state of loss of appetite, sleeplessness, edgy, anxiety, and discomfort around certain women.” The MC alleges he was presented as “some monster that didn’t like black women,” which he opposed by pointing out that “500k plus of his fans are black women, his ex-wife and child’s mother are black women, and his employees are black women.” 

“Jezebel’s article fairly reported on the controversy which led to the permanent suspension of Talib Kweli’s Twitter account,” a spokesperson for G/O Media said in a statement. “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.”

Kweli is seeking $300,000 in damages, which he claims to be half of his salary. 

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