A social media and digital marketing strategist and “Girl, I Guess” podcast co-host is suing a freelance writer who allegedly defamed her on Twitter and whose criticisms of Nicki Minaj cost the plaintiff a contract with the rapper.
Karen Civil’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Tuwanna Thompson alleges defamation, false light, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, unfair competition and intentional interference with economic relations. Civil seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Thursday.
A representative for Thompson could not be immediately reached for comment.
The 36-year-old plaintiff says she has created digital content for such artists as Minaj, Lil Wayne, the late Nipsey Hussle, YG, Jeezy, Dave East, Andre Berto, Pusha T and Nick Cannon.
Dubbed by the New Yorker as the “girl who made Hillary Clinton cool,” Civil was an integral part of the former Democratic presidential candidate’s social media marketing campaign, according to her court papers, which say she also has been the digital marketing director of Beats by Dre for over six years.
Civil says she offered Thompson an internship with Karencivil.com and Live Civil LLC to help the writer grow as a professional in the business and entertainment industry. Thompson signed a non-disclosure agreement in April 2018 as part of the internship, according to the suit.
Civil and one of her managers, Christian Emiliano, instructed Civil’s team in May 2018 to be respectful in their opinions expressed on any social media platforms regarding any of the companies’ clients, including Minaj, and Thompson acknowledged receiving the directive, the suit says.
A month later, Thompson used her Twitter account to express a negative opinion of Minaj’s “artistry,” and the tweet “immediately went viral,” the suit states. “Twitter users began to retweet and respond to (Thompson’s) tweet, which subsequently alerted Ms. Civil and Minaj to the tweet.”
Eventually, Minaj responded to the tweet, the suit states.
Emiliano later told Thompson that she had been asked to be respectful to certain clients and that her internship was being terminated for violating the non-disclosure agreement, according to the suit.
Thompson subsequently wrote on Twitter that she no longer worked for KarenCivil.com, insinuating that she had been unfairly fired for her tweet regarding her opinion on Minaj and also implying that KarenCivil.com’s integrity as an honest entertainment and digital media website had been compromised, the suit says.
Thompson’s tweets were widely seen on social media and quickly became a trending topic in entertainment news, according to the suit.
In her tweets, Thompson “directly attacked Ms. Civil and her website by insinuating that they were merely on Nicki Minaj’s payroll, and were thus unable to truly provide accurate and unbiased news in the field of entertainment,” the suit states. “(Civil’s) website is her name and also her brand, so for (Thompson) to attack the integrity of KarenCivil.com is to further attack Ms. Civil, herself.”
By falsely stating that she was terminated for merely tweeting about Minaj, Thompson made multiple false and defamatory statements about Civil which have “severely damaged her professional reputation, beyond repair, (and) were highly offensive and which were published with a reckless disregard of whether the information contained in them was false or would place Ms. Civil in a false light,” the suit alleges.
Thompson’s conduct also was a “substantial factor in causing Ms. Civil’s loss of her contract with Minaj,” which cost the plaintiff $24,000, according to her court papers.