Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

In October 2017, a woman named Chelsea Tadros shared a statement on Twitter claiming that producer and DJ The Gaslamp Killer had drugged and raped her and her best friend, RaeAn Medina, in 2013. The Gaslamp Killer (born William Bensussen) denied these allegations, and about a month after, sued both women for defamation. Pitchfork confirmed that in the lawsuit, the DJ calls his sexual encounter with the women “consensual” and cites witnesses who were at the same party that night.

Late Tuesday night, Pitchfork reported that one of those lawsuits has been thrown out by an L.A. Superior Court judge. Both of the women reportedly filed anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) motions against Bensussen, arguing that he only filed the defamation lawsuits in an attempt to silence them. According to Pitchfork, the defamation lawsuit against Medina was dismissed, but Tadros’ anti-SLAPP motion was denied, adding that “While Bensussen’s case of ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress’ from Tadros has been dismissed, his libel suit against her will be allowed to proceed.”

Tadros’ attorneys released the following statement:

We are pleased to have prevailed at the first stage of this litigation, the Court having dismissed William Bensussen’s lawsuit against RaeAn Medina in its entirety and a portion of his claims against Chelsea Tadros. As the prevailing parties, Ms. Medina and Ms. Tadros are entitled to payment of attorneys’ fees and costs from Mr. Bensussen.

While this fight is not over, we have and will continue to expose Mr. Bensussen’s lawsuit as a frivolous and transparent attempt to save his career by intimidating and silencing his victims. During this litigation, Mr. Bensussen has relied on ignorant and antiquated views on sexual assault—going so far as to suggest that Ms. Tadros could not have been raped because she did not yell, fight back, or file a police report. These repugnant arguments will not stand.

Ms. Tadros looks forward to the next stage of this litigation, in which we are confident she will ultimately prevail. In this watershed cultural moment, it is more important than ever for victims of sexual assault to share their stories. To that end, we could not be prouder of Ms. Tadros for her bravery in coming forward to tell her truth.


We’ve reached out to representatives for The Gaslamp Killer and will update this story if we hear back.