‘Queen’s Gambit’ defamation lawsuit against Netflix may proceed, judge says

A federal judge on Thursday rejected Netflix’s offer to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a former Soviet chess player. sued the streaming giant over a line from the “The Queen’s Gambit” series, in which a fictional character stated that “this female world champion has never faced a man”.

In September, Nona Gaprindashvili – a chess player turned champion under the former Soviet Union – filed a $5 million lawsuit in California’s Central District. She alleges that the main character Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) is an approximate estimate of her and that a line at the end of the series referring to her real-life success is “obviously untrue, as well as sexist and belittling.” crudely”.

Chess Champion Nona Gaprindashvili
Georgian chess player and female world chess champion, Nona Gaprindashvili of the Soviet Union, competed at the International Chess Congress in London in 1964.Stanley Sherman / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

“By 1968, the year this episode was set, [Gaprindashvili] competed against at least 59 male chess players (28 of them concurrently in a single game), including at least ten Grandmasters at the time,” the lawsuit states.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips dismissed Netflix’s offer to dismiss the lawsuit in a ruling Thursday, claiming that a work of fiction “does not insulate Netflix from libel liability. if all elements of defamation are present.”

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, but told NBC News in September that the streaming giant “has only the utmost respect for Miss Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career , but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case.”


“The Queen’s Gambit” – released in 2020 and based on the 1983 novel of the same name, is about an American woman who overcomes the odds to become champion in the male-dominated world of chess in the years 50 and 60 – won 18 Emmy Awards. nominations for Netflix, including Limited Series Featured and Best Actress for Star Taylor-Joy.

According to the rating of World Chess Hall of Fame. Among her many accolades, she has been the five-time Women’s World Champion and five-time Soviet Women’s Chess Champion.

Tim Fitzsimons and Diana Dasrath contribute.

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/queens-gambit-defamation-lawsuit-netflix-can-move-forward-judge-says-rcna13943 ‘Queen’s Gambit’ defamation lawsuit against Netflix may proceed, judge says

Jake Nichol

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