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Netflix Settles $5 Million The Queen's Gambit Defamation Lawsuit

The suit brought by Georgian chess master Nona Gaprindashvili has been dismissed.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit. (Photo: Netflix)
    Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit. (Photo: Netflix)

    It's a draw for Netflix and Georgian chess grandmaster Nona Gaprindashvili. 

    Gaprindashvili, the first woman to be named a chess grandmaster, argued that the streamer had disparaged her achievements in The Queen's Gambit when a character mentioned Gaprindashvili by name and claimed she'd "never faced men." In real life, Gaprindashvili had faced 59 male competitors by 1968 (the year the show is set). 

    The grandmaster originally sought some $5 million in damages for this "undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions" with this "devastating falsehood." Netflix tried to have the suit dismissed, but a federal judge rejected their argument that being a work of fiction protected the show from defamation accusations, asserting that the series being a "fictional work does not insulate Netflix from liability for defamation if all the elements of defamation are otherwise present."

    Netflix had appealed the ruling, but the case was dismissed today after both sides came to an undisclosed agreement. "The parties are pleased that the matter has been resolved," said Gaprindashvili's attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs. 

    The Queen's Gambit, which tells the fictional story of an orphan whose chess prowess takes the world by storm, is streaming on Netflix.

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    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: The Queen's Gambit, Netflix