Comedian Arsenio Hall on Thursday filed a Sh500 million ($5 million) libel suit against Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, who alleged on Facebook that he provided drugs for decades to late pop icon Prince.
O’Connor — whose best-known song, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” was written by Prince — said she had reported Hall to the sheriff’s department in the Minneapolis suburbs that is investigating Prince’s sudden April 21 death.
“Expect their call. They are aware you spiked me years ago at Eddie Murphy’s house. You best get tidying your man cave,” she wrote in one of two Facebook posts this week that sharply attacked Hall.
The comedian, she wrote, had supplied Prince with drugs “over the decades.”
Hall, best known as host of a popular US late-night show in the early 1990s and as Murphy’s co-star in the 1988 movie “Coming to America,” called the accusations “despicable, fabricated lies” and labelled O’Connor a “desperate attention-seeker.”
“O’Connor is now known perhaps as much for her bizarre, unhinged rants as for her music,” said a lawsuit by Hall’s lawyers filed in a Los Angeles court.
Hall said the accusations were read by “countless people,” both on Facebook and through subsequent media reports.
He asked for a jury trial for libel, estimating the damages to his reputation at a minimum of $5 million.
In the lawsuit, Hall said he has had little contact with O’Connor and questioned her knowledge of Prince’s life, noting that she has admitted a tense relationship with the “Purple Rain” star.
Investigators have not released a cause of death for Prince but an expert in treating addiction to painkillers had been asked to rush to his Paisley Park estate shortly before the singer was found unconscious.
O’Connor is known for her strong views on issues including women’s rights and the role of the Roman Catholic Church, but her social media postings have increasingly caused alarm even among her admirers.
Late last year she appeared to suggest on Facebook that she had tried to kill herself in an overdose.