COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Eric Posey, a drag performer accused of exposing himself at Coeur d’Alene’s Pride in the Park celebration, has filed a defamation suit in the Idaho District Court for Kootenai County.
The complaint asserts Kootenai County resident Summer Bushnell repeatedly defamed Posey by falsely posting on social media and falsely reporting to city and state law enforcement officials that Posey exposed his genitals to the public, including children, at the June 11 event.
The lawsuit alleged that Bushnell, who owns an digital marketing company, published a doctored video of one of Posey’s brief performances at the Pride event.
Bushnell provided the video to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department and posted it to Facebook and other social media sites, in addition to accusing Posey of committing felonies and encouraging the public to call the local police department and the Idaho Attorney General to have him arrested.
After investigating Bushnell’s false accusations, Coeur d’Alene‘s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office declined to arrest or charge Posey. Officials issued a statement on July 1 that both the edited and unedited videos of Posey’s performance had been viewed and no evidence to support Bushnell’s allegations of indecent exposure or other crimes was found.
In the nearly three months since the June 11 event, Posey has continued to suffer from Bushnell’s false accusations and the defamation of his character.
“After three months of silence, it is now my turn to speak. Following Coeur d’Alene’s sixth annual and largest Pride in the Park on June 11th, an altered video of my performance was widely circulated online, along with false allegations of indecent exposure,” said Posey. “Despite being cleared of all wrongdoing, provocateurs have continued to spread the doctored video of my performance, not only defaming me, but also inciting a backlash towards the LGBTQIA+ community statewide. I have no choice but to take legal action to hold those responsible for the lies accountable for their actions. My hope is that this civil suit puts a stop to the hateful disinformation campaigns being waged in Idaho.”
The complaint details Bushnell sought to boost her popularity online by capitalizing on the national coverage the arrest of 31 members of the of the white supremacist group Patriot Front as they prepared to disrupt the celebration.
The suit seeks monetary damages from Bushnell for defamation and defamation by implication in an amount of more than $10,000. Compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, and legal costs are requested, as is a jury trial.
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