MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, whose fervent support of former President Donald Trump has made him an icon among conservatives and a target for liberals, has lost a lawsuit that alleged he had been defamed.
The verdict against him in his lawsuit against the Daily Mail was handed down Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Crotty, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, according to Newsweek.
Lindell sued the Daily Mail in January after it claimed he and actress Jane Krakowski, of the television show “30 rock,” were in a secret romance.
The report’s source was an “anonymous friend.”
A federal judge dismissed Mike Lindell's defamation suit against the Daily Mail. Lindell sued them for publishing a story claiming he had an affair with Jane Krakowski. The judge said the lawsuit did not identify any statement "that a reasonable person would view as defamatory."
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Lindell and Krakowski each denied the rumor, with Lindell saying he had not even heard of the actress.
Lindell, who has made no secret of his past heroin addiction and his recovery, was particularly incensed over a claim in the story that he plied Krakowski with champagne as part of their alleged romance.
As founder of the Lindell Recovery Network, he said that this inaccurate claim in particular was defamatory and hurt his ability to counsel addicts.
Crotty, however, dismissed Lindell’s contentions.
“Even assuming the romance never happened, the above description would not defame Lindell,” Crotty wrote, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Dating an actress — secret or not — would not cause ‘public hatred,’ ‘shame,’ ‘ridicule’ or any similar feeling towards Lindell. Both Lindell and Krakowski are unmarried adults, and Lindell’s alleged actions typify those of a person in a consenting relationship,” he continued.
The lawsuit “has not identified any statements in the Article that a reasonable person would view as defamatory,” he said in dismissing the suit, according to Newsweek.
“The purchase of alcohol is a legal and ordinary act,” Crotty wrote, rejecting an argument from Lindell that it impugned his moral character.
“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 said.
Lindell “might have been embarrassed or annoyed by this tabloid Article, to be sure. But he only challenges aspects of the Article that describe routine acts accepted by society,” he wrote.
Regardless of their accuracy, the comments about Lindell “cannot be reasonably construed as defamatory, and he, therefore, fails to state a viable defamation claim.”
In his verdict, Crotty said he was not disputing the truth of Lindell’s allegations about the falsity of the article.