Dave Portnoy Reacts To His Defamation Suit Against “Insider” Being Dismissed By Judge.
The defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy against the publication “Business Insider” was dismissed on Monday. The case reportedly was dismissed by Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV. The judicial decision said that Portnoy’s complaint did not produce sufficient evidence that proved the defendants, CEO Henry Blodget, Global Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson, and Reporters Julia Black, and Melkorka Licea published the articles about him with any malice.
In order for a defamation claim to survive in court when the person is a public figure like Portnoy, the accused person or entity must have published an untrue statement about someone and have done so with malice, or an intent to harm that person. Proving that the facts published are in fact true creates a complete defense to a defamation claim. Defamation claims are only actionable when the fact published is false but portrayed as true.
Portnoy responded to the decision by saying on his social media account, “Disappointing, frustrating, not overly surprising. Every single lawyer said it was an uphill battle. Every legal expert said it was an uphill battle, that it’s almost impossible for a public figure to prove defamation. The laws are stacked against me, stacked against public figures, which I am. So I knew it was uphill. I still wanted to do it cause what they did was so bad, so wrong. It really sucks, my enemies now doing parades, the cha cha, being like ‘we told you he was a scumbag.'”
Portnoy claimed the judge didn’t really even look at the evidence, because it was decided that he didn’t meet the malice standard. He claims the evidence he has, in the forms of texts and direct messages, makes it look like it was totally consensual.
“I’m a public figure, you can talk about me. I’m fair game, basically” Portnoy said, describing the Judge’s opinion.
He continued, “Most of what they put in the article, while making me sound like total scumbag and a deviant and basically a rapist, was all opinion, like the girls’ opinion, way after the fact.”
Portnoy says he can either appeal the decision or sue the girls who accused him but he called the latter option, a public relations disaster for him.
Portnoy originally filed his legal complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleging causes of action for defamation and state-law invasion of privacy against Insider, Inc. and the aforementioned defendants.
The lawsuit arose out of two Business Insider stories, which alleged multiple instances of improper behavior and sexual misconduct by Mr. Portnoy. Insider’s first story which details Portnoy’s sexual encounters with three women, according to their accounts, gave details of allegations of rough sexual conduct by Portnoy. In Mr. Portnoy’s opinion, the articles alleged that Mr. Portnoy “violently raped and sexually assaulted” three unnamed females which Portnoy says was an outright fabrication, according to his legal filings.
“Mr. Portnoy has never sexually assaulted anyone, and Defendants are well-aware of this fact. Nevertheless, Insider is attempting to cash in on the climate of fear and ‘cancel culture’ permeating the media, whereby it has become open season for anyone to make any claim (no matter how vile and unsupported) about anyone seemingly without consequence. There are, however, consequences for unlawfully defaming someone,” Portnoy’s legal filings said.
“Mr. Portnoy brings this action to clear his name, to set the record straight, and to recover the substantial damages that Defendants caused him as a result of the irresponsible and defamatory stories they published about him,” the lawsuit added.
Insider published its first Portnoy focused article on Businessinsider.com in November 2021, entitled “‘I was literally screaming in pain’: Young women say they met Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy for sex, and it turned violent and humiliating.” The lawsuit alleges that for search engine optimization and “clickbait” purposes, the First Story’s URL included the words “Portnoy,” “choking,” “violent,” “sex,” and “stoolies.”
Mr. Portnoy alleges that this piece was published “solely for revenue generation, at the expense of Mr. Portnoy, and, as a direct result of the published piece, that Mr. Portnoy’s image has suffered.” The lawsuit alleges that this behavior constitutes “clickbait defamation,” which, under Federal Law is not a cause of action at the present time, however, falls under the general Massachusetts’ laws on defamation.
After the first article was published, Portnoy spoke with LOJ Founder Amy Dash to give his side of the story in response to what he called Business Insider’s “hit piece,” detailing his sexual experiences with the women.
Portnoy explained that the article was the result of “a very exhaustive, very deep search… into everybody I know,” by Business Insider reporter Julia Black.
“I start catching wind of this hit piece like eight months ago, and I had everybody reach out to me,” Portnoy told Dash. The Barstool Sports founder was explaining how he received a random text from the manager of The Chainsmokers, who he didn’t know, telling him that a reporter had asked if he knew any girls Dave Portnoy has ever hooked up with.
When Business Insider was ready to publish, Portnoy claimed he was given only 24 hours to respond to all the allegations, many of which were made by anonymous people.
Portnoy held an emergency press conference on his platform where he mounted a full defense, providing evidence of text messages, videos and police reports that he claimed debunked many of the allegations.
Read the Full Details of Portnoy’s Interview with LOJ Founder Amy Dash HERE and his full DEFENSE.