We all remember earlier this year when we stopped dead in our tracks, mid-sexual walkabout, and read the extremely alleged rumor in the Daily Mail that 30 Rock star and beloved everything Jane Krakowski was dating CEO Mike Lindell, famous in equal parts for founding My Pillow, Inc. and for promoting unhinged conspiracy theories about Donald Trump winning the 2020 presidential election. Well, in the aftermath of the story, Lindell sued the outlet, which is now asking a New York federal judge not to let him amend his defamation suit as it will be “futile,” since rumors that Lindell dated the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star and bought her alcohol do not constitute defamation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of Daily Mail’s lawyers Kelli Sager argued in a May 6 filing 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.” Additionally, she points out, Lindell is a public figure, which would explain how he got on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week.
As for why Lindell, who is sober, is now trying to amend his suit, Sager claims, it’s because, so far, he has allegedly “failed to cite a single case where a court has found innocuous statements about a consensual romantic relationship between two adults, or those involving gifts of alcohol, are defamatory,” whether or not the person is “a recovered addict, pious, or conservative.” She says of the Daily Mail report itself, “Nothing in the Article states or can reasonably be read to imply that he drank alcohol, engaged in sexual misconduct, or otherwise acted inconsistently with his professed Evangelical Christian faith.” Lindell claims that the rumor he purchased alcohol has lead some churches to distance themselves from the nonprofit the Lindell Recovery Network, for which he is a spokesperson.
And finally, even if the Daily Mail’s statements could be considered defamatory, Sager asserts, Lindell himself has already torpedoed his own public reputation with “widespread, negative publicity that includes his advocacy of fake COVID-19 ‘cures,’ false theories about election fraud, and support of martial law.” Meanwhile, both Krakowski and Lindell have vigorously denied having a relationship with one another.