Judge Dismisses Wes Borland’s Effort To Sue Ex-Wife For Defamation

Antje Naumann (AllSystemsRed), CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Back in January, news came out that Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland was suing his ex-wife Carré Callaway (who happens to be the indie artist Queen Kwong).

Per an initial report from Rolling Stone, Boreland sued his ex-wife for defamation and claimed she was trying to profit off of his name. Per their divorce agreement, the couple agreed that  “neither party may make speeches, give interviews, or make public statements that defame the other party.”

What set Borland off so much were some articles he came across pertaining to Queen Kwong’s latest album (titled Couples Only). Per a 2022 Bandcamp Daily post and a review from Flood Magazine, each writer wrote about their interpretations of Callaway’s music and spoke about how they felt some of her songs were referring to alleged neglect/abuse that came from Borland.

When it comes to the issues Borland has with the Bandcamp article, the writer brings up Callaway’s song “The Mourning Song,” which involves her expressing the grief she experienced upon losing a cat of hers. In regard to this track, the writer claims that Borland pressured Callaway to leave their marital home in three days; upon being forced out of the home, Callaway was stuck leaving several rescue cats behind. Referring to the cat that sadly passed away, Callaway is quoted in the song saying that the cat “died a week after he left because he was the only one who could care for her.”

Borland also took issue with Flood Magazine’s coverage of Callaway’s song “Emdr Atm” because the reviewer suggested that the song could have been about Borland’s alleged “gaslighting” of Callaway. The reviewer went on to write about Callaway losing her cat and Borland allegedly pressuring her to leave their marital home.

After learning of these reviews, Borland felt that Callaway had broken the agreement they had signed and decided to pursue legal action; he also claims that the statements from each of these publications have damaged his “public image and reputation.” The Limp Bizkit guitarist asked for $5000 for “costs and attorney fees,” and for Callaway to be sanctioned by the court.

However, per a recent report from Rolling Stone, a judge has dismissed Borland’s request to sanction his ex-wife.

Per Judge Helal A. Farhat of the Third Judicial Circuit, Family Division, in Wayne County in Michigan:

“The court does not find that [Callaway] made any defamatory statements regarding [Borland]. In the Bandcamp Daily article, [Callaway] expressed her opinions, frustrations, and the struggles of her divorce from [Borland]. Ms. Callaway did not specifically indicate that [Borland] was the cause of her being ‘broke and homeless.’ All other statements referenced in [Borland’s] motion are either [Callaway’s] reflection of her feelings or insinuations made by authors. Statement [sic] that simply do not rise to the level of being defamatory. As to the Flood magazine article, same was imply an assessment of [Callaway’s] music and the author’s conclusionary statements based on the original Bandcamp article interview.”

In response to this ruling, Callaway shared the following statement with Rolling Stone and expressed how she hopes this ruling sends a message to her ex-husband and others filing what she refers to as “frivolous” motions:

“I made a record that I’m very proud of. It’s painfully real and honest, and I think that was enough to cause Wes discomfort and displeasure. As a result, he attempted to weaponize my record’s lyrics and press coverage against me in a frivolous legal action. This was an act of intimidation via a court system with the intent of disrupting my career and shutting me up. Which, unfortunately, is a common bullying tactic used by people in positions of power to evade accountability and intimidate women into silence.

“Though it was an emotionally and financially exhaustive battle, I’m glad I chose to fight it. The judge made the right decision and freedom of speech and art prevailed. I’m relieved to be walking away with my voice and I hope this outcome will deter similar attacks against women and artists in the future.”

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