Cardi B is speaking out after winning her defamation lawsuit and she’s sharing some important words about the culture of online bullying and lies.
To recap, a jury recently ordered celebrity gossip blogger Tasha K to pay up more than $1 million for posting false rumours about the rap star (among the lies, that Cardi B had herpes, was a prostitute, had cheated on her husband and had done hard drugs) and a day later, added another $1.5 million for punitive damages plus another $1.3 million to cover her legal bills, as per Billboard.
Now my maths sucks, but that’s a lot of millions…
In a statement shared with Variety, it’s clear the win is bittersweet for Cardi B – she acknowledges that while she may’ve been victorious in this instance, online bullying and misinformation is a huge problem:
“After almost four years of repeated libel and slander against me, being able to walk away from this victorious brings me great happiness,” she begins.
“During this trial, all of you have learned about the darkest time in my life. That moment in time was fuelled by the vile, disgusting and completely false narratives that were repeatedly and relentlessly being shared online. I thought I would never be heard or vindicated and I felt completely helpless and vulnerable,” Cardi B continues.
“I have never taken for granted the platform that my fame allows me to have, which is why for over three years I dedicated every resource I had to seek justice. And not just justice for me. The truth is that the intentional harm that was done to me, is done to countless others every day. The only difference between me and the high schooler who is being cyber-bullied and lied on by their classmates is the money and resources I have access to. We collectively have to say enough is enough.”
That last bit – Enough is enough.
During the trial, Cardi B shared the defamatory remarks caused her to feel “extremely suicidal” and we know she’s not the only one who feels this way. We know that cyberbullying is triggering mental health issues amongst children and adults at an alarming rate. We know that cyberbullying can make people feel alone and worthless and increases the risk factors for anxiety, depression and suicide.
Yet we allow it to thrive across social media platforms. Sometimes it’s person to person. Sometimes it’s in the form of multi-billion dollar gossip and tabloid news industries.
Either way, enough is enough.
If you or anyone you know needs mental health support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia or reach out to your local helpline in your country. You are never alone.
(Feature Image Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock)