- The Daily Mail asked a judge to dismiss MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s defamation lawsuit.
- Lindell sued the tabloid over a report that he dated actress Jane Krakowski, which he denies.
- His complaint centers on the reported detail that he gifted her alcohol, though he is a recovering addict.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Attorneys for The Daily Mail have once again asked a judge to dismiss Mike Lindell’s lawsuit against the media organization, arguing its story about the pillow mogul dating “30 Rock” actress Jane Krakowski didn’t amount to defamation.
“Plaintiff has not cited a single case where a court has found the type of innocuous statements at issue here, about a consensual romantic relationship between two adults, was capable of a defamatory meaning,” the Daily Mail’s lawyers wrote in a legal memorandum filed Thursday.
The British tabloid reported in January that the MyPillow CEO had a secret nine-month fling with the actress. Both Lindell and Krakowski denied the report, and Lindell said he had never even heard of her.
Lindell sued The Daily Mail days later, alleging the report was defamatory. The lawsuit said the article caused him “significant humiliation and emotional distress” and cost him “economic opportunities.”
Lindell became a mega-celebrity among political conservatives for his staunch support of former President Donald Trump. He has also championed his personal story, as someone who was addicted to crack for eight years, is now recovering, and built a multi-million dollar pillow business empire. His lawsuit against the Daily Mail, in particular, the zeroes in the reported detail that Lindell gave Krakowski alcohol as a gift.
“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 said.
The Daily Mail says legal standards for defamation don’t involve gifting bottles of alcohol
The Daily Mail first made a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on April 22. But Lindell’s lawyers submitted a revised version on April 27, as Insider first reported. In the amended version, Lindell claimed that some churches had distanced themselves from his nonprofit that helps people recovering from addiction.
New filings from The Daily Mail have asked the judge to reject those revisions as well, arguing they still don’t amount to the legal standards for defamation.
“Plaintiff [cannot] identify any case where it was found to be defamatory to state that an adult (whether he is a recovered addict, pious, or conservative) gave another adult a gift of alcohol – an entirely legal, and commonplace event,” the filings say, adding: “Well-established law makes clear that even a ‘devout Christian’ would not be subjected to hatred or contempt by ordinary readers, applying today’s societal mores, because of a report that he dated a popular actress and gave her gifts that included alcohol.”
In the past few months, Lindell has found himself with a number of tangled legal headaches. In addition to his lawsuit against The Daily Mail, he has been sued by Dominion Voting Systems. Lindell has pushed a false conspiracy theory that the election technology company was manipulated through China and secretly “flipped” votes in the 2020 presidential election from Trump to now-President Joe Biden. Dominion sued him, alleging $1.3 billion in defamatory damages, and Lindell counter-sued.
In court filings, Lindell’s attorneys have sought to distinguish between Lindell’s personal beliefs and the alleged damage done to his company and organization. The new Daily Mail filings argue that the legal arguments Lindell makes in his case with the media outlet are the opposite of the arguments he makes in his case with Dominion.
“As the materials submitted with the Motion make clear – and Plaintiff does not dispute – he has been the subject of widespread, negative publicity that includes his advocacy of fake COVID-19 ‘cures,’ false theories about election fraud, and support of martial law,” the Daily Mail filing says.