Rhye lead singer Michael Milosh’s malicious prosecution case against his ex-wife Alexa Nikolas was stricken from court earlier in February following an anti-SLAPP motion from Nikolas’s attorneys, documents reviewed by Rolling Stone confirm. The decision comes nearly six months after the singer first sued Nikolas’s lawyers over claims that that they knowingly filed a “frivolous” lawsuit against him that “lacked any legal basis” regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Nikolas, an actor best known for her role in Nickelodeon series Zoey 101, filed her initial suit against Milosh in 2021, accusing her ex-husband of sexual abuse and grooming. Nikolas dropped her case last year, and Milosh filed his malicious prosecution case at the end of August, disputing the claims. Nikolas has told Rolling Stone that she planned on re-filing her case, and reaffirmed that position following the court’s ruling. Attorneys Karen Menzies, Deborah Mallgrave, Brian Williams and Jemma Dunn as well as the law firms Gibbs Law and Greenberg Gross were listed as defendants.
“His malicious prosecution was malicious prosecution,” Nikolas said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “I will be refiling.”
The defendants first motioned to strike the suit as an unlawful Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation — or an anti-SLAPP motion — in November 2022. The court granted the motion on February 9th. The court also awarded the defendants nearly $6,000 in attorney’s fees, per the filing.
In a statement to Pitchfork, which first reported on the filing, Menzies expressed relief. “This legal ordeal has been difficult,” she said, “but I consider this anti-SLAPP ruling a badge of honor earned in the defense of the survivors of sexual assault.”
Milosh isn’t the first artist to file a malicious prosecution claim following sexual misconduct allegations; Last October, attorneys for Bob Dylan similarly sued the attorneys of an unnamed woman who accused Dylan of sexually assaulting her when she was a child in 1965. (The woman filed her suit in 2021 and withdrew her case in July 2022.) A rep for Milosh didn’t immediately reply to request for comment regarding the court’s motion. Milosh has repeatedly denied the sexual assault allegations. “I am being hit with horrific and spiteful lies,” Milosh previously told Rolling Stone. “I reiterate that these accusations are outrageously false and the manipulated stories provably untrue.”
Nikolas has spent the past several months protesting music industry institutions including Milosh’s management company Red Light Management, claiming they empower sexual misconduct in the music business and calling for change. As she wrote on Twitter, she plans on protesting Red Light again this week.