Entertainment

Netflix settles libel case The Queen’s Gambit with chess grandmaster Nona Gaprindashvili


Netflix has ended a nearly year-long legal battle over their hit miniseries The Queen’s Gambit.

The streaming service was sued in mid-September 2021 by Nona Gaprindashvili – the first woman ever to be named “grandmaster” of chess in 1978.

She demanded $5 million in the libel suit, which was settled Tuesday, according to Variety.

End: Netflix has ended a nearly year-long legal battle over their hit miniseries The Queen’s Gambit

Grandmaster: The streaming service was sued in mid-September 2021 by Nona Gaprindashvili - in 1978 the first woman ever to be called a 'grandmaster' of chess

Grandmaster: The streaming service was sued in mid-September 2021 by Nona Gaprindashvili – in 1978 the first woman ever to be called a ‘grandmaster’ of chess

No details about the settlement terms have been disclosed, although lawyers for both parties have confirmed the settlement.

“The parties are pleased that the matter has been resolved,” said attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs, who represented Gaprindashvili.

“We are pleased that the matter has been resolved,” a Netflix spokesperson added in a brief statement.

Spokesperson: 'We are pleased that the matter has been resolved,' a Netflix spokesperson added in a short statement

Spokesperson: ‘We are pleased that the matter has been resolved,’ a Netflix spokesperson added in a short statement

Gaprindashvili was mentioned in the latest episode of The Queen’s Gambit, which follows the fictional chess performance of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy).

The final episode shows Harmon defeating a male competitor in a tournament in Moscow, with a commentator saying her opponent underestimates her.

“The only unusual thing about her is actually her gender. And even that is not unique in Russia. There is Nona Gaprindashvili, but she is the female world champion and has never met men,” the announcer said.

Beth: Gaprindashvili was mentioned in the latest episode of The Queen's Gambit, which follows the fictional chess performance of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy).

Beth: Gaprindashvili was mentioned in the latest episode of The Queen’s Gambit, which follows the fictional chess performance of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy).

Unusual: 'The only unusual thing about her is actually her gender.  And even that is not unique in Russia.  There is Nona Gaprindashvili, but she is the female world champion and has never dealt with men before,

Unusual: ‘The only unusual thing about her is actually her gender. And even that is not unique in Russia. There is Nona Gaprindashvili, but she is the female world champion and has never dealt with men before,” the announcer said.

In reality, however, Gaprindashvili had faced 59 male competitors in 1968, the year the series was set.

The lawsuit she filed last September said the announcer’s sentence on the show was “apparently false, but also grossly sexist and disparaging.”

Netflix filed a petition to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that the show’s creators were licensed to change things under the First Amendment.

Competitors: In reality, however, Gaprindashvili had 59 male competitors in 1968, the year the series was set

Competitors: In reality, however, Gaprindashvili had 59 male competitors in 1968, the year the series was set

However, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips disagreed, finding that in a January ruling, Gaprindashvili made a plausible argument that she had been defamed.

“Netflix does not cite, and the Court is not aware of, cases where charges of defamation for the depiction of real persons in otherwise fictional works are excluded,” the judge wrote.

“The fact that the series was a work of fiction does not insulate Netflix from liability for defamation if all elements of defamation are otherwise present,” Phillips added.

Defamation: However, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips disagreed, finding that in a January ruling, Gaprindashvili made a plausible argument that she had been defamed.

Defamation: However, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips disagreed, finding that in a January ruling, Gaprindashvili made a plausible argument that she had been defamed.



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