Placebo frontman Brian Molko is being sued for defamation by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for remarks he made on-stage at a show in Turin last month.
Videos posted from the show captured Molko describing Meloni in Italian as “a piece of shit fascist, racist” and then saying “fuck you” during the band’s set in front of 10,000 fans at Sonic Park Festival.
Soon after, prosecutors in Turin opened an investigation into Molko. Meloni has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
During the Stupinigi Sonic Park, the Placebo lead singer Brian Molko calls PM Giorgia Meloni ‘racist, fascist’, concluding ‘fuck you’.
July 11, 2023 pic.twitter.com/eqmJLcH4Qp
— Crazy Ass Moments in Italian Politics 🇮🇹 (@CrazyItalianPol) July 12, 2023
Meloni is the leader of the Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots, and is at the head of Italy’s most rightwing government since Benito Mussolini during the second world war. She won last year’s election while running on anti-immigration policies, as well as plans to limit LGBTQ rights.
Meloni has also said she wishes to focus on ‘traditional Christian family values’, preventing abortions, renegotiating EU treaties, lower taxes and ensuring same-gender couples do not have surrogacy or adoption rights.
Italy’s criminal code punishes with a fine ranging from €1,000 to €5,000 (£858 to £4,290) anyone who “publicly defames the republic”, which includes the government, parliament, the courts and the army.
In Italian law, some defamation cases can be criminal and can carry a custodial sentence.
NME has approached Meloni’s team. Representatives of Molko have declined to comment further at this time.
Recently, at a Placebo show in Dublin’s 3Arena on June 26, Molko called out a large number of attendees who were using their phones to record the show rather than living in the moment.
The band had previously shared a request on social media for attendees to refrain from using phones during their gigs. Molko halted the performance during ‘Hugz’, the fourth song of their set, to remind fans of the no phone policy.
In other news, Placebo played their gender-bending breakthrough hit ‘Nancy Boy’ at this years Download fest.