Placebo’s Brian Molko being sued for defamation by Italian PM

Molko alleged Giorgia Meloni was a “fascist” and a “racist” on stage in Turin.

Placebo's Brian Molko

Placebo’s Brian Molko. Credit: Ricardo Rubio/Getty

Placebo frontman Brian Molko is being sued for defamation by the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, over comments he made on-stage at a festival in Turin last month.

Videos taken from Placebo’s performance at Sonic Park Festival captured Molko calling Meloni  “a piece of shit fascist, racist” in Italian and then saying “fuck you”, to cheers from the crowd.

Prosecutors in Turin then began investigating Molko for “contempt of the institutions” following his comments. If Molko is convicted for “publicly defaming the republic” – which includes the Italian government, parliament, courts and army, he risks a fine of 5,000 Euro (£4,306). In Italian law, some defamation cases can be criminal and can carry a custodial sentence.

Meloni has not yet publicly commented on the lawsuit. Guitar.com has reached out to her team – Molko’s representatives, meanwhile, have declined to comment at this time.

Italy has one of the highest rates of libel suits against the media in Europe, and this isn’t the first time that Meloni has served those who have publicly criticised her with a defamation lawsuit.

She previously filed a defamation lawsuit against journalist Roberto Saviano who called her a “bastard” during a TV interview in 2020 over her anti-immigration policies.

She also sued the newspaper Domani for defamation after it accused her of helping an MP from her own party win a government contract to procure face masks during the pandemic.

Meloni is the leader of the Brothers of Italy party. She won last year’s election while promoting anti-immigration policies, as well as plans to limit LGBTQ rights.

Meloni has also said she wishes to promote  ‘traditional Christian family values’ as well as preventing abortions, renegotiating EU treaties, lowering taxes and ensuring same-gender couples do not have surrogacy or adoption rights.

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