A drag show performer is suing a right-wing blogger for defamation over a claim that he exposed himself to children.
Eric Posey filed the lawsuit against Sarah Bushnell, who runs a website called the Bushnell Report. It identifies itself as delivering “North Idaho News from a Liberty and Freedom Viewpoint.”
Posey alleges in the lawsuit that the website published a report that he had exposed himself in front of children while performing at a drag show. He says that the website purposely deceptively edited a video in June to make it appear that Posey exposed himself when he says that he did not.
Posey was performing as his drag show alter ego, Mona Liza Million, at the Pride in the Park festival in the city of Coeur d’Alene for the North Idaho Pride Alliance.
In July, the Coeur d’Alene City Prosecutor’s Office said there was not evidence to support the exposure claims.
“The allegations of indecent exposure or other crimes cannot be supported by the evidence,” said chief criminal deputy city attorney Wes Somerton.
Prosecutors said they reviewed the same video that was unedited and did not see Posey exposing himself.
Posey’s lawyer Wendy Olson wrote in the lawsuit that Bushnell lied about her client in order to gain prominence as a news outlet.
“To do so, she fabricated a sensationalist story that Posey exposed his genitals in public, including in front of children,” she said. “Bushnell started by posting on her public Facebook page a video of herself talking to the camera. She stated that a man in a dress flashed his genitalia to the crowd, including minors. She said she would put up blurred video to prove it.”
Bushnell denied that she defamed Posey in a statement to WFFF-TV.
“I have not defamed him,” Bushnell said. “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.”
A GoFundMe account set up for “Mona” garnered $5,725 to help him with lost wages, moving costs for security, legal costs, and “a new dress and pair of shoes because the show must go on!”
Olson said that a screenshot from Bushnell’s video appeared on a flyer that was posted all over the downtown of the city and on social media.
Posey says he suffered professional damage and emotional distress from the incident and he is seeking $10,000 and legal fees.
Here’s more about the defamation lawsuit:
Drag performer sues blogger for defamation over edited video