Los Angeles, CA – William Bensussen, better known by his stage moniker The Gaslamp Killer, was accused rape Twitter last November. Two women Chelsea Tadros and RaeAn Medina said the former Low End Theory regular sexually assaulted them both in 2013, something Bensussen adamantly denied. Subsequently, he filed a defamation suit against his accusers, which included Tadros’ boyfriend, Jack Wagner.
Now, a Los Angeles judge has ruled the suit can move forward. According to a press release, Superior Court Judge Joanne ODonnell “finalized a tentative ruling rejecting a motion by the woman, Chelsea Tadros, for the entertainers suit to be thrown out because it infringed on her right to free speech.”
Tadros’ attorneys argued her allegations on Twitter were opinions that are protected by the First Amendment, and that as long as she believed she was drugged and raped, she should be dropped from the suit. But ODonnell ruled that her allegations “should be treated as facts.”
The jury will be able to decide if the evidence presented by Bensussen proves or disprove she lied.
This ruling is huge,” Bensussen’s attorney Parag Amin said in the press release. “Of all the legal hurdles my client faced in bringing this lawsuit, this motion was the toughest to overcome. Because Bensussen is a public figure, the bar was extremely high. We had to show the Court that Tadros statements were most probably false and were most probably made with actual malice before we got to take any depositions or conduct any discovery.
He added, Now we look forward to our day in court, where my client can finally clear his name from Tadros fabricated and vile allegations.”
The judge primarily based her decision on the sworn declarations Bensussen filed from third-party eyewitnesses, Peter Rosen and Christopher Salguero, who were present before and during the alleged incident.
A toxicologist also reviewed Tadros account and gave a sworn statement saying Tadros’ statement was virtually impossible because it was inconsistent with the effects any known date-rape drug.
Medina and Wagner were both dropped from the suit.
(The original version this article was published on November 13, 2017 and can be found below.)
All hell broke loose for The Gaslamp Killer last month when the West Coast DJ/producer was accused raping two women. One the alleged victims, Chelsea Tadros, initially came forward on Twitter with claims GLK (real name William Bensussen) had forced himself on her and a friend in 2013, and all three had non-consensual sex. The friend was later identified as RaeAn Medina.
Now, GLK is fighting back with a defamation lawsuit filed against Tadros, Medina and Tadros’ boyfriend, Jack Wagner. The suit was filed on Monday (November 13) for “falsely and maliciously” accusing GLK drugging and raping them.
GLK’s attorney Parag Amin explained in a press release, These false and despicable allegations have sabotaged Mr. Bensussens career, upended his personal life, and led to the cancellation his shows. Mr. Bensussen is seeking to restore his good name the right way through a court law, where people must testify under oath and there is accountability for false statements.”
Following the accusations, GLK was dropped from several festival appearances. Low End Theory, the weekly experimental Hip Hop club night he helped establish at The Airliner in Los Angeles, also promptly parted ways with the longtime musician.
Flying Lotus, another staple the Low End Theory scene, even came under fire when he appeared to defend GLK during one his sets, but he quickly issued an apology for any “insensitive” comments he made.
GLK maintains his innocence and insists the act was consensual.
Check out part the court docs below.