After weeks of investigation, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is reportedly suing the singer
Placebo singer Brian Molko has been sued by the Italian Prime Minister for “publicly defaming the republic” following comments made about her during the band’s set at a music festival outside of Turin.
Molko and the band were performing at the Sonic Park festival last month in front of a crowd of 10,000 people, reports Variety, when the singer spoke out against the country’s right-wing Prime Minster, Giorgia Meloni. Speaking in Italian, Molko appeared to call the Prime Minister a “piece of shit, fascist, racist” to cheers from the crowd.
Following Molko’s statements, prosecutors in Turin launched an investigation into the singer, as under Italian law, anyone who is found in ‘contempt of the institutions’ – which includes the government, army, and parliament – can be fined up to €5000. According to new reports, Meloni has decided to sue the singer for an as yet undisclosed amount, though she has yet to comment on the case publically.
Along with being Prime Minister, Meloni is also the head of the Brothers of Italy, a political party with neo-fascist roots that, during the 2022 Italian election, formed a coalition government with the centre-right party, League for Salvini Premier. The administration has since been described as Italy’s most right-wing government since the Second World War.
In the past, Meloni has called for a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to refugees and migrants entering Italian ports, and has been accused of making xenophobic and Islamaphobic comments.
Her government has also been accused of rolling back LGBTQ+ rights. It was recently reported that same-gender parents were receiving letters informing them that one parent’s name was being removed from their children’s birth certificates. It comes after the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, told Reuters that he had received a letter from the government with instructions to stop registering children who have two mothers or two fathers.
Placebo, meanwhile, are still scheduled to perform in Sassari, a city on the island of Sardinia, on August 1. The upcoming concert has led Sassari city council member Mariolino Andria to ask the city’s mayor, Nanni Campus in an appeal, how they can avoid “an unpleasant replica of what happened in Stupingi and how you intend to censor (the possibility) of such an event”.
UPDATE (7/8/23): Story has been updated to reflect new reports on the government’s decision to sue Molko.