Mike Lindell Loses in Court Against Daily Mail as Judge Rejects 'Defamation' Allegation

A federal judge rejected My Pillow founder Mike Lindell's defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail, asserting in the ruling that the article the prominent conspiracy theorist took issue with "cannot be reasonably construed as defamatory."

Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, first sued the Daily Mail tabloid in January after it published an article alleging that he and 30 Rock actress Jane Krakowski had a secret romance. The report was based on a tip from an "anonymous friend" and Lindell and Krakowski quickly denied the claim. Lindell even said he'd never heard of the actress.

While the report may have been inaccurate, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Crotty, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled on Friday that nothing in the article rose to the level of defamatory.

"Dating an actress—secret or not—would not cause 'public hatred,' 'shame,' 'ridicule,' or any similar feeling towards Lindell," Crotty wrote. The judge asserted that the businessman's lawsuit "has not identified any statements in the Article that a reasonable person would view as defamatory."

Mike Lindell
A federal judged dismissed My Pillow founder Mike Lindell's defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail on Friday. In this photo, Lindell listens to former President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a "Save America" rally at York Family Farms on August 21 in Cullman, Alabama. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Lindell, a former heroin addict, alleged that a line in the article about him wooing the actress with champagne was defamatory. As a former addict and founder of the Lindell Recovery Network, he claimed the article hurt his reputation as well as his ability to provide services to addicts. But the judge dismissed this argument.

"The purchase of alcohol is a legal and ordinary act," Crotty wrote in his ruling. "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 noted that 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." Crotty contended that such statements "cannot be reasonably construed as defamatory, and he, therefore, fails to state a viable defamation claim."

Lindell has been a key promoter of the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" in favor of President Joe Biden. Although Lindell, Trump and other supporters of the former president continue to make this extraordinary claim, they have not provided evidence substantiating the allegation.

On the contrary, dozens of 2020 election challenge lawsuits have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans have dismissed the lawsuits.

Audits and recounts in states across the country have consistently reaffirmed Biden's victory. Nonetheless, Lindell continues to promote the baseless claims and attend events throughout the country to rally Trump supporters behind the conspiracy theory.

In defending itself against Lindell's defamation lawsuit, the Daily Mail pointed to his regular promotion of conspiracy theories and other inaccurate information.

"Plaintiff Michael Lindell is no stranger to scandal. In the last year alone, the self-described crack-addict-turned-CEO ventured beyond pillow sales to become a peddler of an unproven COVID-19 'cure,' and a leading proponent of baseless election fraud theories; stores dropped his company's product after Plaintiff was photographed leaving the White House in January 2021 with a notepad referencing 'martial law,'" an April memorandum from the tabloid said.

"He and his company have been mired in litigation—previously, in several suits alleging fraudulent advertisement practices, and more. Yet Plaintiff [literally] has made a federal case out of statements in an article about his rumored consensual romantic relationship with a popular, award-winning actress, claiming that these references irreparably harmed his reputation," the memorandum continued.

Newsweek reached out to the Daily Mail for comment.