A federal judge dismissed My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail.
Lindell sued the outlet for publishing a story claiming he had a secret affair with actress Jane Krakowski.
The judge said the lawsuit did not identify any statements “that a reasonable person would view as defamatory.”
A federal judge dismissed MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s defamation lawsuit against British tabloid the Daily Mail on Friday, according to court documents.
In January, Lindell sued the Mail for defamation and libel after the tabloid published a piece claiming that he and “30 Rock” actress Jane Krakowski had a secret affair.
The British tabloid had reported that Lindell courted Krakowski and that they started secretly dating in 2020 for nine months, based on a tip from “an anonymous friend.” Days after the article was published, both Krakowski and Lindell denied the story, and in his suit, Lindell claimed that he had never heard of Krakowski.
In the Friday ruling, US District Court Judge Paul Crotty wrote that Lindell had not attached the full article to his lawsuit, but that the Mail had as part of their defense.
“Dating an actress — secret or not — would not cause ‘public hatred,’ ‘shame,’ ‘ridicule,’ or any similar feeling towards Lindell,” Crotty wrote, adding that Lindell’s lawsuit “has not identified any statements in the Article that a reasonable person would view as defamatory.”
In the lawsuit, Lindell claimed that the story caused him “personal harm and emotional distress,” largely because the piece alleges that Lindell sent Krakowski alcohol.
The article said Lindell had “wooed Krakowski with flowers and champagne,” and in his lawsuit, he mentioned the Lindell Recovery Network, a substance abuse recovery platform he created, alleging that the story has hurt his reputation and ability to provide services.
“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,” his lawsuit said.
Crotty found Lindell’s claims to be insufficient to qualify as defamatory, according to the ruling.
“The purchase of alcohol is a legal and ordinary act,” Crotty wrote. “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 judge added that he “declines to test the Article’s statements by asking how they would be understood by an amorphous subset of evangelical Christian readers.”
Insider reached out to the attorneys representing the Daily Mail and Mike Lindell for comment. A representative for Krakowski did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the dismissal.
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