After Causing A Viral Stir, The Following Drag Queens Are Being Sued For Slander
The following proves even your virtual words can come back to haunt you – in court! Damn, this is some especially piping hot tea! Okay, let me get it together and deliver this to you:
Back in May of this year, a handful of the RuPaul’s Drag Race queens and Drag Race’s biggest fan, over-the-top YouTuber, Jakeyonce, took to their respective social media accounts to virtually, or literally, drag Chicago-based management company, Neverland Events and Artist Management. Neverland prides itself on being an LGBT-owned business and boasts about representing queer talent like many of the drag queens made popular by the success on RuPaul’s show. While Chicago is one of the best metropolitan cities in America and also my homeland, it’s not necessarily the place you want to be if you intend to succeed in the entertainment industry… because there currently isn’t a booming business there compared to New York or Los Angeles. Alas, a handful of queens chose to do business with Neverland and were allegedly left with proverbial mud on themselves when they were allegedly not paid for their work.
Like with anyone in any profession, you don’t work for free. You do a job and expect to get paid. It’s the same in the entertainment world, including entertainers booked as talent like these drag queens. If you’ve “grown up” in gay bars, or have a lick of common sense, you’ll know that you don’t mess with a drag queen and her money; it’s like taking meat away from a Pitbull. So, when the queens allegedly weren’t paid, many of them decided to take their anger to social media and would eventually flame the company. As we all know, the Drag Race legacy has arguably brought one of the most “active” fandoms to the internet. The drag fans are in a league of their own – and they play for keeps. We’ve seen endless examples of this in the past, like when Valentina’s fans viciously attacked other contestants and Silky Nutmeg Ganache received an unfair, cruel treatment from those who scream inclusion and acceptance. After the drag queens revolted online, fans flamed Neverland. One example is Jakeyoncé made a YouTube video detailing the drama, albeit in defense of the queens. Turns out what they all did was illegal and called slander, as they are now discovering with a rude awakening.
According to the Cook County Clerk Law Division Case Number 2019-L-010856 (Chicago’s electronic court website), Neverland is suing multiple drag queens and Jakeyoncé for five million dollars for libel and slander and a ton of currently unknown evidence (likely social media posts) have been submitted to the court since last month. The definition of slander a.k.a. defamation reads:
“The action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”
Basically, Neverland is claiming that all of the allegations against the company are false and the persons in charge, including plaintiff Anthony Difiore, now have a damaged reputation. Not all the queens are being sued, but a select few including drag race alumni Pearl (Matthew James Lent), Shea Coulee (Jaren Merrell), Anthony Taylor (The Vixen), Sang-Young Shin (Kim Chi), the aforementioned Jakeyoncé (Jacob Sandt), Coulee’s boyfriend, Dan Polyak, and a queen who has yet to get on drag race, Bible Girl (Zachary Gottlieb).
Currently, none of the defendants mentioned above have responded about these allegations on their social media accounts as they are likely lying low and being incredibly smart with their decision to do so. I’m sure the queens have plenty of money to afford a good lawyer… but what will happen to YouTuber Jakeyoncé?! I wish the best for everyone and hope the matter is resolved quickly. But if this does go to court, we’re going to need some cameras in there because this will be absolutely messy. Someone call Judge Judy, we’ve got a hit on our hands!
Legal Note: Please note: Neither the Circuit Court of Cook County nor the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County warrants the accuracy, completeness, or the currency of this data. This data is not an official record of the Court or the Clerk and may not be represented as an official court record.
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.