The Daily Mail published a report in late January 2021 claiming that the MyPillow founder had a “secret nine-month romance” with the “30 Rock” star. Both Lindell and Krakowski denied the report.
“Jane has never met Mr. Lindell. She is not and has never been in any relationship with him, romantic or otherwise,” a publicist for Krakowski said in a statement at the time. Lindell said he had “never even heard” of the actress before.
In the week after the report was published, Lindell filed a lawsuit against the Daily Mail for defamation, claiming the article had caused him “tremendous harm to his personal and professional reputation and prospective economic opportunities, as well as causing him significant humiliation and emotional distress.”
The Daily Mail did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to court documents, Lindell specifically cites the report’s claim that he gifted alcohol to Krakowski during their alleged relationship.
“As a recovering addict and alcoholic who frequently writes and speaks publicly about his spiritual triumphs over substance abuse, Mr. Lindell is horrified by the Defendants’ fabricated and very public accusations,” the lawsuit read.
On Tuesday, Lindell revised the lawsuit against the British tabloid, adding an amendment about how the report impacted the associations with the Lindell Recovery Network, a “faith-based” nonprofit founded in 2019 that “provides services for various forms of addiction, mostly substance, and behavioral addiction, along with co-morbidities such as anxiety and addiction,” according to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Lindell’s name is attached to the network and his personal story as a Christian who came back from his addiction to become a success is emphasized,” the lawsuit read.
Lindell claimed that the organization has only been able to partner with “a handful of churches,” and the lawsuit said churches “may be pulling out because of Defendants’ allegations about Mr. Lindell.”
It was not immediately clear as to why the report may have impacted the LRN’s affiliations with Christian networks and churches, and Insider reached out to MyPillow and to Lindell for more information.
False claims about President Joe Biden’s plans for addressing the climate crisis spread online this week, but the lack of truth over the claims didn’t stop Republican lawmakers from responding to or repeating them.
The Daily Mail published a story Thursday with a headline that began: “How Biden’s climate plan could limit you to eat just one burger a MONTH.” It included unsubstantiated claims that in order to meet Biden’s plan Americans would need to “cut 90% of red meat out of diet” and “only eat 4lbs a year.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared a screenshot from Fox News that echoed the claims, labeled as “Biden climate requirements,” along with the limit of “one burger per month.”
Fox News show host Larry Kudlow said: “Speaking of stupid, there’s a study coming out of the University of Michigan which says that to meet the Biden Green New Deal targets, America has to, get this, America has to stop eating meat, stop eating poultry and fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, and animal-based fats.”
In fact, the University of Michigan study cited by the Daily Mail and Fox was published in January 2020 and is not related to Biden or his climate plan. According to the authors, the study analyzes “hypothetical reduction in the consumption of animal-based foods in the US diet” and relies on “a number of simplifying assumptions.” It is not a policy proposal or suggestion.
When reached by CNN’s Daniel Dale, one of the authors said: “I, admittedly, have no idea what Biden’s plan has to say about our diets.”
Biden announced on Thursday that the US will aim to cut carbon emission 50% by 2030, but he has released few details on how his administration plans to meet that goal. During the announcement, Biden made no mention of Americans’ meat consumption.
The Daily Mail and Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The claims about Biden’s plan were amplified by conservatives on Twitter, including members of Congress.
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted the false claims, saying “Joe Biden’s climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?”
Fellow freshman GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted an apparent reference to the false claims, writing “The Hamburglar,” alongside a photo of Biden eating a burger. She added in quotes: “No burgers for thee, but just for me.”
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the Fox News screenshot, saying: “I’m pretty sure I ate 4 pounds of red meat yesterday. That’s going to be a hard NO from me.”
Representatives for Boebert and Greene did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. Representatives for Abbott and Trump Jr. could not be reached.
All of the tweets mentioned above that spread the false or misleading claims were liked and shared thousands of times on Twitter.
The Daily Mail claims that forensics experts have verified the authenticity of messages and images in a laptop containing lurid details of Hunter Biden’s private life.
DailyMail.com, the US-focused website run by the British tabloid, published a long article detailing the laptop’s contents on Thursday.
The laptop was the subject of intense controversy in the runup to the November presidential election, when The New York Post claimed that the laptop contained emails harmful to Joe Biden.
The Post claimed Biden – then the Democratic nominee for president – was compromised by his son’s business dealings in Ukraine, where he worked on the board of energy firm Burisma.
Other emails, said critics, contained evidence of influence-peddling by Hunter Biden in China. Neither claim was ever substantiated.
The story of how the Post and later the Mail obtained the machine is convoluted, with it having initially reportedly been abandoned in a Delaware computer shop then handed to allies of Donald Trump.
Amid doubts over the authenticity of the information, and briefings from US intelligence agencies that it was likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign, Facebook and Twitter introduced measures to stop it being shared.
But according to the Mail, the laptop is indeed Hunter Biden’s, and contains 103,000 text messages, 154,000 emails, and more than 2,000 photos.
The Mail said the contents were verified by cyber forensics experts at Maryman & Associates, a California-based company which says on its website has 20 years of experience.
The company claims to have matched contents of the laptop with email addresses, contents from an iPad, and an iPhone serial number connected to Biden.
Insider attempted to reach Hunter Biden for comment with emails to his attorney and book publishers, but did not immediately receive a response.
It contains details of messages from Hunter Biden about an incident in which the Secret Service got involved after he abandoned a firearm in a bin after an argument with Hallie Biden, the wife of his deceased brother Beau Biden, with whom he was having a relationship. The Secret Service denied any involvement in the incident.
The images were seized upon by Fox News hosts on Thursday night, who renewed their attacks on Hunter Biden and showed explicit stills from videos reportedly found on the laptop.
In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Thursday to promote his book, Hunter Biden addressed some of the controversies, including the laptop. He has previously claimed that he doesn’t know if the device was his.
He said: “Now look, I really don’t know and the fact of the matter is, it’s a red herring. It is absolutely a red herring. But I am absolutely, I think, within my rights to question anything that comes from the desk of Rudy Giuliani. And so I don’t know is the answer.”
Giuliani has said that he played a part in getting the laptop to members of the media.
Last year Trump allies seized on an email in the laptop which appeared to show Hunter trying to broker a meeting between an associate at Burisma and Joe Biden while he was Barack Obama’s Vice President. No evidence has emerged to indicate the meeting ever took place.
Giuliani led a longstanding campaign to link Joe Biden to his son’s dealings in Ukraine. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was also said to be involved in handling the hard drive. It was then handed to the Post.
Los Angeles Judge Yolanda Orozco ruled Wednesday that the photos were a “matter of public concern,” the Orange County Register reported.
“I sued the Daily Mail for their publication of my nonconsensual nude images,” Hill wrote in the tweet on Wednesday. “Today, we lost in court because a judge – not a jury – thinks revenge porn is free speech.”
“This fight has massive implications for any woman who ever wants to run for office, so quitting isn’t an option,” she added.
Hill filed a lawsuit under the “revenge porn law” against the Daily Mail, her ex-husband Kenny Heslep, and Salem Media Group, which owns the conservative blog RedState which published a nude picture of Hill with a campaign aide in 2019.
The ex-Congresswoman was elected as a Democratic representative from California in 2018. In 2019, allegations emerged that Hill had sexual relationships with campaign and congressional staffers, which she initially denied but later confirmed she had a relationship with one campaign staffer. In late October, the Daily Mail published nude photos of her with a campaign aide, which prompted the Hill’s lawsuit against the tabloid. She resigned in light of the nude photos and allegations.
She sued her ex-husband, accusing him of leaking the photos to RedState and the Daily Mail. The media outlets maintained that the publication of the photos was not in violation of the law under the First Amendment.
Legal experts told Insider’s Jacob Shamsian that the lawsuit may not stand in court because of the First Amendment, but the suit against Hill’s ex-husband still has good chances.
The judge ruled that the photos reflected Hill’s “character, judgment and qualifications for her congressional position.”
Hill’s attorney Carrie A. Goldberg tweeted that they intend on appealing the case, saying that she and Hill think an “appellate court will disagree” that the publication of the photos are protected under the First Amendment and that the case was dismissed on anti-SLAPP grounds.
Goldberg added that dismissing the case “sets a dangerous precedent for victims of nonconsensual pornography everywhere.”
“Anybody who dares enter the public eye should now have legitimate concern that old nude and sexual images can be shared widely and published by any person or media purporting to have journalistic intentions,” Goldberg wrote. “This ruling has the exact opposite effect California’s revenge porn intended – which was to reduce and not amplify or promote nude images without consent.”
“Today we have victims of revenge porn who are being frozen out – who are losing access to our judicial system and the freedom to dream big if they have anybody in their past with nude images they can share,” Goldberg continued.
The “revenge porn” lawsuit ex-Congresswoman Katie Hill brought against media outlets for distributing nude photos of her likely won’t stand in court, legal experts say.
Hill was elected as a Democratic representative in a California swing district in 2018 and the photos led to her resignation in 2019. She brought the lawsuit against her ex-husband Kenneth Heslep, who she says leaked the photos of her to the right-wing media outlet RedState and the British tabloid The Daily Mail. The lawsuit also targets RedState, The Daily Mail, and the individual journalists at those publications involved with publishing those photos.
Because Hill alleges that Heslep effectively laundered revenge porn through media outlets, taking advantage of the fact that she’s a public figure, the case has been described as a source of tension between the First Amendment and the California law designed to protect victims of harassment.
A draft court decision obtained by Insider indicates that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yolanda Orozco will likely grant a motion to dismiss the case from the media outlets and individual journalists.
The “revenge porn” law Hill brings her lawsuit under, the draft decision says, has a carve-out for “distributed material [that] constitutes a matter of public concern.” Photos of a member of US Congress in an extramarital relationship and using drugs constitutes just that, the draft says.
Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment scholar and a professor at the UCLA School of Law who’s written about the case, told Insider that the California legislature “has considered this very issue” to ensure the law doesn’t come into contradiction with free speech concerns.
“There is specifically an exemption for distributed material that constitutes a matter of public concern,” Volokh said. “That is a rare situation when it comes to nonconsensual distribution of pornography like this, but it sometimes happens. And this seems like a classic example.”
Attorneys representing Hill and Heslep didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
The case against Hill’s ex-husband may still stand
Orozco said in a hearing Wednesday that she would delay her final decision in order to hear a decision from Jennifer Van Laar, the RedState reporter and a former Republican political operative, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
But even if Orozco dismisses Hill’s case against the media outlets, that doesn’t mean she’ll dismiss it against Hill’s ex-husband.
Boesch described the photos of Hill as traveling through a “chain” of responsibility, where media organizations illustrate the photos as being in the public interest, while Heslep likely had different motives. Heslep might deserve less First Amendment protection, Boesch said.
“If he’s doing these things, it’s a malicious act with the intent to hurt,” Boesch said. “And arguably that is what she’s focused on.”
Volokh told Insider that the exemption cited by the judge’s draft order doesn’t draw a distinction between who’s distributing the photos. It only matters that the photos are “a matter of public concern.
“The question is, is the material that’s actually being distributed a matter of public concern? This is an unusual situation where it is,” he said, adding: “It’s not like there’s an exception for publication by a newspaper. It’s an exception for when the distributed material constitutes a matter of public concern.”
Heslep hasn’t responded to the lawsuit, which was first filed in December, according to court records reviewed by Insider. He is also involved in a separate lawsuit with Hill over allegations that he abused her while they were married.
Even if Heslep is ultimately found liable for leaking the photos, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Daily Mail or RedState would be running afoul of the law, according to Hannah Bloch-Wehba, a professor at the Texas A&M School of Law who studies law and technology.
“The rule is typically that the media can’t be liable for just publishing information, even if the information is illegally obtained by the source,” Bloch-Wehba told Insider. “So whoever ultimately leaked the photograph might have done that in violation of the law. But as long as the media outlet didn’t itself violate the law in obtaining the photos, they are probably in the clear as a First Amendment matter.”
Hill has characterized the RedState and The Daily Mail stories as a matter of partisan skullduggery rather than in the public interest. Jennifer Van Laar, who first published the photos on RedState’s website, worked as a Republican political operative before working for RedState, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But Bloch-Wehba said a person’s background wouldn’t matter when it comes to free speech protections.
“The rule is not that you’re entitled to First Amendment protection if you’re a perfectly objective commentator who’s never played a role in politics,” she said.
“It’s going to be a tough case – it’s kind of this intersection of the First Amendment and the right to privacy and where that line is drawn,” she said, adding: “I think it’s important for how we set the standard for the way women are treated as they run for office and are in the public eye, no matter what their circumstance is.”
Boesch told Insider he can imagine the judge wanting to “do justice” in the case even if she removes the media outlets as defendants.
“I look at what happened to her, and you almost think that a judge thinking about this is going to try to find ways to do justice, not just toss out the whole thing,” Boesch said.
Mike Lindell, the Trump-boosting CEO of MyPillow, is suing the Daily Mail for defamation and libel over its publication of a story about him being in a months-long secret relationship with “30 Rock” actress Jane Krakowski.
Last week, the British tabloid reported that Lindell courted Krakowski and that they started dating a year ago, based on a tip from “an anonymous friend.”
The outlet reported that Lindell wooed Krakowski with flowers and champagne, and that their fling came to an end this summer after multiple trips to see each other.
“It surprised many of Jane’s friends because she’s such an icon in the gay community, but here she is dating one of Trump’s biggest business backers,” the anonymous friend reportedly told the Mail.
In the lawsuit, Lindell alleges that the story has caused “personal harm and emotional distress,” largely because the piece alleges that Lindell sent Krakowski alcohol.
“As a recovering addict and alcoholic, who frequently writes and speaks about his spiritual triumphs over substance abuse, Mr. Lindell is horrified by the defendants’ fabricated and very public accusations,” the lawsuit says.
Throughout the document, Lindell references the Lindell Recovery Network, a substance abuse recovery platform he created, alleging that the story has hurt his reputation and ability to provide services. Lindell also reasserts that he has never heard of Krakowski.
Krakowski offered a second denial to the story as well. Last week, her publicist issued a statement saying, “Jane has never met Mr. Lindell. She is not and has never been in any relationship with him, romantic or otherwise.”
“She is, however, in full-fledged fantasy relationships with Brad Pitt, Rege-Jean Page, and Kermit the Frog, and welcomes any and all coverage on those,” the publicist added.
In recent weeks, Lindell spoke with Insider and doubled down on his support for Trump through his last days in office.
Lindell publicly backed Trump in the 2016 election and throughout his presidency. On January 16, Lindell had a confusing meeting with Trump in which he boosted conspiracy theories about the election and Dominion Voting Systems. As a result, several major retailers have dropped MyPillow, citing decreased consumer demand.