Reprinted with permission from AlterNet
Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, Inc., recently suffered a loss in court as a federal judge ruled in favor of The Daily Mail regarding his defamation lawsuit against the news outlet.
According to Newsweek, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Crotty reportedly rejected the suit "asserting in the ruling that the article the prominent conspiracy theorist took issue with 'cannot be reasonably construed as defamatory.'"
The ruling follows Lindell's lawsuit filed back in January following the release of a Daily Mail article wrongly alleging "that he and 30 Rock actress Jane Krakowski had a secret romance. The report was based on a tip from an "anonymous friend" and Lindell and Krakowski quickly denied the claim. Lindell even said he'd never heard of the actress."
In the ruling, Cotty pushed back against Lindell's claim: "Dating an actress—secret or not—would not cause 'public hatred,' 'shame,' 'ridicule,' or any similar feeling towards Lindell."
The judge also claimed that Lindell's argument "has not identified any statements in the Article that a reasonable person would view as defamatory."
Lindell, who founded the Lindell Recovery Network after overcoming his own battle with heroin, also claimed one line in the article damaged his reputation because it alleged that he'd pursued a woman with champagne. Due to the work his recovery network does, Lindell argues that the article hindered "his ability to provide services to addicts."
However, the judge also refuted that argument.
"The purchase of alcohol is a legal and ordinary act," Crotty wrote in his ruling. "If even more problematic depictions of alcohol consumption, such as underage drinking or alcoholism, routinely fail to qualify as defamatory in New York courts surely no reasonable reader could find it offensive to exchange champagne or other bottles of liquor as gifts between romantic partners."
The ruling comes after The Daily Mail's response in an attempt to defend itself. The news outlet highlighted Lindell's history of circulating conspiracy theories and misinformation.
"Plaintiff Michael Lindell is no stranger to scandal. In the last year alone, the self-described crack-addict-turned-CEO ventured beyond pillow sales to become a peddler of an unproven COVID-19 'cure,' and a leading proponent of baseless election fraud theories; stores dropped his company's product after Plaintiff was photographed leaving the White House in January 2021 with a notepad referencing 'martial law,'" an April memorandum pointed out.
The memorandum added, "He and his company have been mired in litigation—previously, in several suits alleging fraudulent advertisement practices, and more. Yet Plaintiff [literally] has made a federal case out of statements in an article about his rumored consensual romantic relationship with a popular, award-winning actress, claiming that these references irreparably harmed his reputation."
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