Limp Bizkit's Wes Borland Accuses Ex-Wife of Defamation, Citing Album Review

The guitarist is alleging that a reviewer's interpretation of Queen Kwong's latest album violates their divorce agreement

Photo via @thewesborland on Instagram

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jan 17, 2023

You've heard of death by chocolate (starfish) — now get ready for defamation by review. Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland has reportedly accused his ex-wife, Carré Callaway (a.k.a. Queen Kwong), of harming his reputation by way of a reviewer's interpretation of her latest record.

In a legal filing obtained by Rolling Stone, Borland's representation cites an album review of Queen Kwong's Couples Only published by FLOOD Magazine as a violation of the terms of his and Callaway's divorce agreement. In 2020, both signed that document, which states that "neither party may make speeches, give interviews, or make public statements that defame the other party." Borland is now reportedly claiming that Callaway is trying to profit off of his name by talking about him.

Written by Mischa Pearlman, the album review in question suggests that the song "Emdr Atm" details "the kind of purported 'gaslighting' Ms. Callaway claims she received from Mr. Borland," echoing a likewise-cited Bandcamp Daily interview with Callaway written by the same journalist.

The article alleged that Borland had given Callaway only three days to leave their shared home in Detroit — where they lived with seven or eight rescue cats — when their marriage fell apart. Callaway eulogized Daisy, one of the cats for whom she was tasked with finding a new home in that small window of time, on the album's "The Mourning Song." The singer-songwriter is quoted in the interview as saying, "[Daisy] died a week after he left because he was the only one who could care for her."

The subsequent review carried on this thread of background for Callaway's songwriting, with Pearlman writing: "[Callaway had] been living with him in Detroit, with a whole host of cats they'd rescued, only to be forced out of the house they'd made their home. She was given three days to move out, to rehouse all the cats, to say goodbye to a life and a marriage and a husband she thought she knew. She was also ostracized by those in the music industry who felt they stood more to gain by being friends with Borland than with her."

Borland's filing reportedly claims that these statements "intentionally do what Ms. Callaway was expressly prohibited from doing: They adversely affect Mr. Borland's public image and reputation that he has built over a twenty-plus–year career." Additionally, they claim that both pieces of writing are an attempt at "destroying Mr. Borland's extraordinary and hard-earned professional reputation."

The guitarist is seeking for the court to sanction Callaway and $5,000 USD to cover "costs and attorney fees."

"The TRUTH CANNOT BE DEFAMATORY," Callaway, who married Borland in October 2016 and filed for divorce in January 2019, wrote to Rolling Stone. "This action is simply a tactic to bully, intimidate, and silence me. This is an attempt to financially ruin me, exhaust my physical well-being and denigrate my credibility with the explicit intent of causing harm to my career. This is an overall attack on freedom of speech and artistic expression. What does it mean for indie musicians like myself — who can't afford to even tour these days — to have to worry about fighting frivolous lawsuits. What does it mean for women who are already afraid to tell their stories? What does it mean for journalists if their words can be spun to silence the very women they're trying to give a platform to?"

Borland's attorney, B. Andrew Rifkin also reached out to the publication, adding: 

Mr. Borland filed a post-judgment motion asking that the Wayne County, Michigan Family Court enforce specific Judgment of Divorce provisions that both parties agreed to abide by as part of their 2020 divorce settlement. Mr. Borland's post-judgment motion has nothing to do with any issues beyond what each of the parties agreed to do as part of the finalization of their 2019 divorce case. The parties' Judgment of Divorce requires both Mr. Borland and Ms. Callaway to refrain from "… mak[ing] speeches, giv[ing] interviews, or mak[ing] statements that defame the other party." Mr. Borland has fully complied with that provision, and he is asking the Family Court to make clear to Ms. Callaway that she has the same obligation to comply that Mr. Borland has.

Mr. Borland wishes Ms. Callaway the best in her career. He does not wish to limit her artistic expression, but as part of their divorce settlement, both parties agreed to keep their opinions about their divorce private and refrain from making negative public comments about the other party.


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