Placebo’s Brian Molko has been sued by Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni after seemingly calling her a “piece of shit, fascist, racist” during Sonic Park festival last month, the BBC reports, citing Italian media. Prosecutors in Turin took up the investigation last month, suspecting Molko of insulting state institutions; in Italy, defaming the government, parliament, courts, or army can draw a fine of up to to €5,000 (about $5,517). Meloni has not publicly commented on Molko’s remarks or the lawsuit.
Meloni leads the nationalist Brothers of Italy party, as well as a hard-right coalition voted into power last September. The government has since vilified migrants and asylum seekers, ordered municipalities to stop registering same-sex parents, and appointed Brothers of Italy loyalists to top positions in the public broadcaster, as a recent New York Times op-ed notes.
Pitchfork has reached out to Placebo’s representatives for additional information and comment.