Ryan Phillippe isn’t suing his ex-girlfriend Elsie Hewitt for defamation after all, huh

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Back in September, Ryan Phillippe’s ex-girlfriend sued him after she claimed he violently assaulted her in his home. Go here to re-read Elsie Hewitt’s original claims. She had only been dating Ryan for a short time, and he got pissy with her at a party, so she went by his house later to get her stuff and move on. She claims that was when he attacked her and threw her down a staircase. She had a witness – a girlfriend who was there – and she went to the police, although little came of it, which is why she filed the civil suit. Ryan responded by denying the entire thing and announcing plans to countersue Elsie for defamation. Then the situation went quiet for a few months. On Wednesday, Ryan tweeted this:

He tweeted that as news of his “countersuit” broke. This is tricky, because different sites are characterizing this in different ways. People Magazine says that Ryan IS countersuing Elsie, but even in People’s article, it’s pretty clear that he’s just filing a legal response to her suit, which is not the same as a countersuit…?

Ryan Phillippe is suing his former girlfriend Elsie Hewitt after she alleged that the actor had brutally beaten her this summer. The actor, 43, filed the documents on Nov. 17 as a response to Hewitt’s own lawsuit that claimed he had been abusive toward her.

In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Phillippe’s lawsuit denies the allegations, claiming Hewitt “broke into Phillippe’s home in the middle of the night without permission” and “fabricated a story in an unjustified attempt to extort money” from him to help her modeling career. PEOPLE has reached out to both Phillippe’s and Hewitt’s attorneys.

Phillippe alleges Hewitt, 21, made a false police report accusing him of injuring her in the early morning of July 4 when the alleged incident is said to have taken place. The actor also claims Hewitt was “extremely intoxicated.”

He further says in his suit that he “was raised by women in a household where women’s rights, feminism, and advocacy were very much at the forefront, and he is sickened to have been falsely accused of domestic violence.”

[From People]

E! News says that Ryan’s legal response to the suit is that he’s asking for Elsie’s lawsuit to be dismissed. E! also spoke to Elsie Hewitt’s lawyer, Keith A. Fink, who said:

“If the claims were defamatory why didn’t Mr. Phillippe sue Elsie for defamation like he claimed he would? How is there not ‘one shred of truth’ in her complaint? There was an independent witness who supports Elsie. This witness spoke with Blast. The pictures confirm her injuries. The text messages corroborate her story. If Mr. Phillippe is such a feminist why did his ex-girlfriend seek a restraining order? This pleading is amateur hour but the defense doesn’t have anything to work with here. I’m looking forward to Mr. Phillips’s [sic] deposition where he can under the penalty of perjury answer for his actions.”

[From E! News]

Fink makes a solid point – after the outrage about Elsie Hewitt “defaming” him and threatening to sue her in September, what changed? Why didn’t he actually sue her for defamation? Why this weaksauce legal response, asking the court to dismiss? Hmmm…


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28 Responses to “Ryan Phillippe isn’t suing his ex-girlfriend Elsie Hewitt for defamation after all, huh”

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  1. BJ says:

    I noticed when these celebs are accused of doing something they always “threaten” to sue for slander or defamation.

    • QueenB says:

      Celebs cant win defamations suits in the USA. They need to prove someone lied and then that they acted with “actual malice”.
      From a legal pov it would be insane to actually sue because a) you will loose and that will b)only make you look guilty.

      • HeidiM says:

        Good point and also shortly after this all the Harvey Weinstein et al shit hit the fan. Not a good environment to be victim shaming for Ryan.

      • HIDIPUS says:

        they can WIN A SUIT ,only if there are strings for them to pull ,by proving sb lied wont really work

    • msd says:

      Threats are usually enough, sadly. It’s often a bluff but when you don’t have the money or power to fight it’s enough to keep you quiet because you can’t take the risk.

      I’ve read so much crap about Marty Singer, the lawyer for Cosby and Singer and Masterson, and more. Total scumbag. I wish he’d go down too.

    • Severin88 says:

      So true see: Kevin Hart.
      He was yelling at the internet that he was getting his lawyers ready to sue regarding that video of him with another woman. Looks like he just paid out.

      • HK9 says:

        Again??!!?? Didn’t he just have a baby?? How is he still out there runnin the streets…ugh…I can’t….

    • Natalia says:

      So sick of these 43 year olds going after the 21 year olds. They do it because think these girls are able to be manipulated and molded, and too often they are right. Bu they’re often wrong especially in this day and age. And young girls learn fast not to go with these man childs who usually have a drug problem and other really negative issues as well.

      My first thought when I saw this article was how does he make his money? What kind of money does he really have (that would attract these young girls)? Does he even work all that much? The last thing I would want as a 21 yr old is a boyfriend with a grown daughter a couple years younger than me. Ugh.

  2. tracking says:

    His accuser also said she witnessed him doing lots of drugs, including steroids. Very messy. Here’s hoping she gets her day in court. Btw, what happened to his engagement? I’m guessing she wised up and the restraining order against him refers to her..

  3. QueenB says:

    I believe her.

  4. Talie says:

    Isn’t useless for famous people to sue for defamation? It’s almost impossible to win.

    • Nicole says:

      It is. For celebs the burden of proof is so high. Almost impossible to win.

    • BlueMoodyHues says:

      Not impossible, but you will spend years and millions doing it. It’s only worth even trying if the person accused of defamation has millions. Even if you are awarded it, it will likely be cut down.

      Couple that with the Streisand Effect and it’s simply just not worth it unless it’s something super heinous.

    • Odette says:

      Yup. They must prove “actual malice” in many cases, which is exceptionally hard to do.

  5. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    He has always been a bit of a douche – wasn’t his substance abuse and behaviour the reason Reese left him?

  6. Ravensdaughter says:

    You are correct about the procedure-it is the Phillippe’s required response as the defendant to allegations made in the plaintiff’s civil complaint. It is not a countersuit.

  7. lemon says:

    She’s not my girlfriend! What are you 12?

  8. Susan says:

    In legal jargon, what Phillippe filed was just an “answer” to the complaint that Hewitt filed. Unless it expressly states claims he is filing against her (which it doesn’t seem to do), it does not constitute a countersuit and People’s headline is dead wrong. It’s merely his initial response to her original claims.