On December 15, 2021, a Judge in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York ruled that Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, did not have a sufficient claim for libel against the Daily Mail, and dismissed the claim. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, claimed in an article that Lindell had a “secret romance” with actress Jane Krakowski and that he “wooed her with flowers and champagne.” The article further stated that Lindell had been sending gifts of flowers, champagne, and liquor weekly for more than a year.
Lindell said that as a Christian and recovering alcoholic, he would not buy alcohol. According to Lindell, he has been “proudly, publicly clean and sober for more than a decade.” Before the article was even published, Lindell emailed the Daily Mail to inform them that he had never even heard of Krakowski. Krakowski denied the rumors in the article too, saying that she had Lindell had never met.
The judge disagreed with Lindell, who said that being accused of buying alcohol “disparaged his moral character.” On the contrary, the Judge felt that regardless of his sobriety journey (which in fact was mentioned in the Daily Mail article), buying alcohol is a “legal and ordinary act.” The Court further held that the statements were not defamatory, because merely stating that two unmarried adults were in a romantic relationship is not obviously harmful to one’s reputation, regardless of whether or not it was true.
On the other hand, Lindell is being sued for defamation himself by Dominion Voting Systems, who claim that he, in addition to Rudy Giuliani and Fox News, spread dangerous misinformation about the 2020 election.
Fox News tried to have Dominion’s defamation lawsuit dismissed. Dominion alleged that Fox was spreading “outlandish” claims about fraud in the 2020 election, “because the lies were good to Fox’s business.” Fox countered that they were merely neutrally reporting true information or providing opinions, which are not capable of being defamatory.
A Delaware Superior Court Judge denied a motion to dismiss brought by Fox, finding that Fox did not have enough evidence to support these claims and that Dominion could have a successful case. Furthermore, the Judge noted that Fox had continued to spread information about Dominion’s connection to potential election fraud, even after Dominion had provided them with information that showed there was no fraud. The Judge concluded that Fox made statements either knowing they were not true or with reckless disregard as to whether or not they were true.
Fox stated about the Court’s decision that Fox will “remain committed to defending against this baseless lawsuit and its all-out assault on the First Amendment.”
Mike Lindell is represented by Charles J. Harder of Harder LLP.
Mail Online is represented by Kelli L. Sager of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.
Dominion is represented by Justin A. Nelson, Stephen Shackelford Jr., Elisha Barron, David’s Brook, Brittany Fowler, and Stephen E. Morris set of Susman Godfrey LLP, Thomas A. Clare, Megan L. Meier, Dustin A. Pusch, and Daniel P. Watkins of Clare Locke LLP, Brian E. Farnan and Micheal J. Farnan of Farnan Law, and Rodney Smolla.
Fox News is represented by Blake Rohrbacher, Katharine L. Mowery, Valerie A. Caras of Richards Layton & Finger PA, Charles L. Babcock of Jackson Walker LLP, and Scott A. Keller of Lehotsky Keller LLP.
The cases are Lindell v. Mail Media Inc. d/b/a Mail Online et al., case number 1:21-cv-00667, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and US Dominion Inc. et al. v. Fox News Network LLC, case number N21C-03-257, in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.
* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is a boutique entertainment and business law firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The firm has extensive experience handling cases involving defamation, having provided top-quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized for its many achievements, including successfully litigating many high-profile cases.
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