Talib Kweli Sues Jezebel for ‘Emotional Distress’ After Site Accurately Reported His Twitter Ban

Talib Kweli has filed a bizarre and utterly unrepentant lawsuit claiming he suffered “emotional distress resulting in illness” after the feminist website Jezebel published a story linking his 2020 Twitter suspension to his reported harassment of a woman online.

The article, titled “Talib Kweli’s Harassment Campaign Shows How Unprotected Black Women Are Online and Off,” reported that Kweli, 46, was kicked off the social media site because he’d been obsessively tweeting at a 24-year-old activist named Maya Moody for hours on end “after a discussion about colorism in hip-hop went left.”

In his new lawsuit, filed Monday in New York Supreme Court, Kweli — whose full name is Talib Kweli Greene — claims he “never harassed anyone” and that the Jezebel article “used him as a guinea pig to clarify how black men treat black women.”

That assessment didn’t fly with Moody, who tweeted Tuesday that she’s still facing harassment tied to the Twitter beef. “His fans are literally still harassing me to this day,” Moody wrote. “He has continued to mention me in interviews, live appearances, etc for over a year and a half. All because I vaguely mentioned colorism and never said his or anyones name.”

Greene spends much of his lawsuit rehashing the defensive position he took when he first responded to Moody. The focus of the Jezebel story, meanwhile, was how his engagement with Moody evolved into something that led Twitter to ban him.

“[Jezebel] published an article as if Mr. Greene’s statements were false, and that he was some monster that didn’t like black women, when 500k plus of his fans are black women, his ex-wife and child’s mother are black women, and his employees are black women,” the lawsuit, which Greene filed on his own behalf, states.

Greene claims the article turned “a minor conflict into a grand parade” that cost him jobs and some $300,000 in income over the last two years. The Black Star rapper says he “went into a depression state of loss of appetite, sleeplessness, edgy, anxiety, and discomfort around certain women.”

The lawsuit names Jezebel, its parent company G/O Media and the article’s author as defendants.

“Jezebel’s article fairly reported on the controversy which led to the permanent suspension of Talib Kweli’s Twitter account. This suit, filed two years after the story was published, has no merit and the company will be seeking our attorneys fees pursuant to the protections afforded to the press to publish stories about matters of public interest like this one,” a statement from G/O Media published by Jezebel on Tuesday reads.