Courtney Love is due to stand trial in February over claims she posted defamatory comments about fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir on her Twitter account.
The 37-year-old widow of Kurt Cobain is the first celebrity to face legal action over comments posted on Twitter.
In March 2009 Courtney took to the social networking site to rant about Dawn, who had been pursuing her over an alleged unpaid clothing bill.
She claimed the designer was a drug-pushing prostitute with a history of battery and assault who lost custody of her own child.
One tweet read: “She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!”
The messages, which have now been deleted, were instantly seen by Courtney’s 40,000 ‘followers’ and countless others through subsequent re-tweets.
With more and more celebrities now using Twitter to communicate with their fans, the landmark legal case will rule whether they, like the media, should be held responsible for false and damaging material they post.
Love is claiming she was only repeating what she had heard from Dawn herself. However, the designer argues the allegations were false and have wrecked her fashion career, putting her in line for millions of dollars’ worth of damages if the court rules on her side.