Idaho Drag Queen Wins Defamation Case Against Far-Right Blogger

Idaho Drag Queen Wins Defamation Case Against Far-Right Blogger
Image: Source: Kaye Thornbrugh, AP

Drag queen Mona Liza Million, real name Eric Posey, has been awarded over $1.1 million in a Idaho defamation case against far-right blogger Summer Bushnell, who falsely claimed that Posey had exposed himself at a June 2022 Pride event in Coeur d’Alene.   

The Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press reports that Kootenai county’s district court jury was unanimous in their decision, finding that Bushnell had defamed Posey by posting an altered video of his performance with a blurred spot. She claimed that this censored his “fully exposed genitals” while he performed in drag. 

The jury awarded $926,000 to Posey for winning the case, as well as a further $250,000 in punitive damages because Posey had proven that Bushnell knowingly lied when making her accusations with a “reckless disregard” for the truth. 

The edited video was posted by Bushnell after she claimed that Posey, as Mona Liza Million, had flashed his genitals to a crowd with children. The video gained thousands of views and provoked a police investigation and widespread news coverage. 

Why did Mona Liza Million sue for defamation?

Although Coeur d’Alene officials did not press charges at the time, Posey sued Bushnell on the grounds that the incident sparked death threats and harassment against him as edited images of him became symbolic of anti-drag sentiment in the US. However, he said the support of the friends is what helped him through.

In court, Posey said: “Imagine being in a dark hole where you have nobody and you felt the whole world turn their back on you. 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 that lifted me up.”

Meanwhile, Bushnell and her attorneys contested the defamation charges, saying that it was her “honest belief” that Posey exposed himself. However, Bushnell also admitted to never actually seeing the “fully exposed genitals” in question. 

Upon hearing the verdict, Posey broke into tears and hugged his attorneys and friends. Speaking after the ruling, he said: “The judicial system did what needed to be done.”

Jurors met with Posey outside of the courthouse and shared their support for Posey, saying they were happy he got the justice he deserved. 

You May Also Like

Comments are closed.