14 Oct DRAG QUEEN SUES RIGHT WING BLOGGER OVER EXPOSURE CLAIM
Drag queen Eric Posey (who goes by the stage name Mona Liza Million) has filed a defamation claim against Summer Bushnell, a far-right blogger, after she told followers of her blog The Bushnell Report that Posey had exposed himself to children in June at a Pride Event in Idaho and called for his arrest. She also released a doctored video purporting to show the same in which Posey’s groin appeared blurred. Bushnell shared the video across her accounts on other platforms and the allegation quickly went viral online, with over 19,000 views according to the claim.
The Coeur D’Alene Police Department said that it received a number of complaints but not from people who saw the performance itself. The claim was subsequently proven to be false after a police investigation found no wrongdoing by Posey. The prosecutor had obtained an unedited copy of the footage which they said showed no evidence of indecent exposure.
Posey claims that, as a result of Bushnell’s allegations his reputation was damaged and he has lost professional opportunities. He claims that his image was used on flyers posted around the town and fuelled misinformation about a kids drag show performance at another Pride festival. He seeks $10,000 plus attorney’s fees.
NBC reports that Bushnell, who was unrepresented at the time of providing the statement, appeared to double down on the claim, stating “I have not defamed him … I did not know his legal name until I got served, and I maintain that he should not have done what he did in front of children in a public venue.”
The event was notable because over 30 members of the Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, were arrested nearby and charged with conspiracy to riot. Many have pleaded not guilty, but the Posey lawsuit alleges that Bushnell’s post was an attempt to boost her profile off the back of these arrests. The events giving rise to the lawsuit are the latest escalation of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric among far-right groups.
Bushnell is yet to formally respond to the lawsuit.