September 7, 2022
A $5 million lawsuit filed in Los Angeles against Netflix by a Georgian chess champion who alleged she was defamed in an episode of the series “The Queen’s Gambit” has been settled, according to court documents obtained Tuesday.
Nona Gaprindashvili, the first woman to receive the title of grandmaster, filed a lawsuit last year, alleging that a line in the award-winning series in which a character said she had “never faced men” in her career was “extremely sexist and demeaning”. .”
Gaprindashvili noted in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court that he had faced dozens of male competitors in 1968, the year “The Queen’s Gambit” was established.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
“We are pleased that the matter has been resolved,” a Netflix spokesperson said, echoing a statement made by Gaprindashvili’s lawyer.
Netflix tried to get the lawsuit dismissed because the series is a work of fiction covered by the First Amendment. However, US District Judge Virginia A. Phillips held that works of fiction are not immune from libel suits if they disparage real people.
“The fact that the series was a fictional work does not insulate Netflix from liability for defamation if all elements of defamation are present,” Phillips wrote in his January ruling.
Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, “The Queen’s Gambit” is the story of orphaned chess prodigy Beth Harmon, who strives to become the best female chess player in the world during the Cold War era.
It became Netflix’s most-watched scripted miniseries and won 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Anthology or Limited Series, becoming the first show on a streaming service to win the category.
The title of the series, which premiered in 2020, refers to a chess opening of the same name.
Gaprindashvili, 81, is a Soviet and Georgian chess player. In 1978 she became the first woman to receive the grandmaster title from FIDE, the international governing body for chess. She was the fifth women’s world chess champion, holding the title between 1962 and 1978.
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