Posey received death threats, threats of violence, and the loss of his reputation after people circulated the video and the false claims about him. Fliers featuring his photo were posted around Coeur d’Alene, and he was accused of being a danger to children.

In September 2022, Posey sued Bushnell, accusing her of defamation.

In that lawsuit, he noted that the edited video of the drag shows was still being shared online, and that disinformation was being spread about the event. As a result, he claimed to have suffered extreme emotional distress and lost professional opportunities. 

“Despite being cleared of all wrongdoing, provocateurs have continued to spread the doctored video of my performance, not only defaming me, but also inciting a backlash towards the LGBTQIA+ community statewide,” Posey said in a statement at the time. “I have no choice but to take legal action to hold those responsible for the lies accountable for their actions.”

At trial, Colton Boyles, the attorney representing Bushnell, argued his client’s allegations were “close to the line” but did not constitute defamation. He claimed Bushnell honestly believed that Posey had exposed himself during the performance, and therefore could not be held liable for defamation.

Under questioning on the stand, Bushnell said that she never saw the “fully exposed genitals” she described to others in her blog post.

Posey claimed that the false accusations that continue to circulate online as a result of Bushnell’s original post — which remains online — continue to impact his life in a negative way, but the support of friends and family has helped him weather the storm.

“Imagine being in a dark hole where you have nobody and you felt the whole world turn their back on you,” Posey said in court. “But somehow, you were surrounded by warriors, true people of Idaho — not transplants, true people of this soil. I am fortunate to say I have people like that around me, people that lifted me up.”

On May 24, following a five-day trial and three hours of deliberation, the jury in the case unanimously sided with Posey, awarding him nearly $1.2 million in damages. 

Prior to returning their verdict, jurors asked the court if they could direct Bushnell to take down her posts about Posey and publicly apologize to him, but Judge Ross Pittman, of Idaho’s First Judicial District, said they could not do so, as that would violate Bushnell’s First Amendment rights.

According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Posey burst into tears after the verdict was returned, expressing his gratitude that the jurors “rejected the lies that put me in a dark place for nearly two years.”

Outside the courthouse, jurors approached Posey to shake his hand or hug him, with many expressing sympathy for his ordeal.