You can be sued for what you tweet, and rapper Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, better known as Future, is going to find out if he’ll have to pony up $15 million for what he has written on Twitter about his ex-fiancée, musician Ciara Harris (professionally known as Ciara).
According to TMZ, Ciara is “pissed about her baby daddy’s Twitter rant in January” commenting that she denies him visitation rights of their son. “I gotta go through lawyers to see baby future,” he tweeted, right after a highly derogatory tweet calling her a b****. He has also given several interviews that disparage Ciara’s mothering skills.
I gotta go through lawyers to see babyfuture…the fuckery for 15k a month
— FUTURE/FREEBANDZ (@1future) January 4, 2016
Ciara is suing Future for slander and libel. She also wants “nasty tweets deleted, and wants him blocked from saying anything about private family matters regarding baby Future,” TMZ says.
We aren’t sure how Ciara came to the $15 million dollar figure, or if she’ll actually get it (these dramas are usually settled out of court). While there are other distinctions as well, slander generally involves spoken statements, while libel involves written statements, very much including tweets.
Whether a written statement is made on Twitter, Facebook, email, or website or blog, it’s the same as if it was printed in a newspaper or magazine: making a false and damaging written statement about someone, can be subject to libel, provided certain other elements are also established. And even if a tweet is deleted, it can still be used as evidence.
While it may be harder for Ciara to sue Future for the spoken interviews (slander), his written Twitter rant (some of which remains online) is coming back to haunt him. We’ll see if we actually wind up seeing them in court.