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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Trevor Bauer files defamation lawsuit against Deadspin

Trevor Bauer on the field

Trevor Bauer secured one legal victory over the sexual assault allegations he faced last year, and now he is seeking another.

Bauer announced on Thursday that he has filed a defamation lawsuit against sports website Deadspin. Bauer is specifically suing Deadspin managing editor Chris Baud and the website’s parent company, G/O Media. In his lawsuit, Bauer accuses Deadspin of knowingly publishing false information about him.

Bauer’s lawsuit accuses Deadspin of targeting the pitcher with malicious comments about him and his character for several years. The specific defamation allegation centers around Deadspin writing that Bauer fractured the skull of his accuser.

Bauer’s representatives have said that the woman’s CT scan showed no fracture. Bauer’s representatives apparently reached out to Deadspin three times to have them make a correction regarding their assertion that Bauer fractured the woman’s skull. Bauer’s team says they were ignored and then sent a follow-up letter accusing Deadspin of defamation, to which the media company’s general counsel responded.

Bauer’s legal team says SI and ESPN are among those who issued corrections regarding the accusation that Bauer fractured the woman’s skull. Even after these corrections were issued, Deadspin continued to publish in subsequent articles that Bauer had fractured the woman’s skull. They wrote in a subsequent story that the woman had “her skull fractured” by Bauer.

Bauer argues and showed proof that Deadspin continued to target him with negative stories even after a judge denied the woman’s request for a restraining order, and even after Bauer was not charged.

The below paragraphs are excerpted directly from Bauer’s legal complaint, except where LBS edited for profanity:

“The Article was the culmination of an unrelenting campaign by Deadspin to defame and impugn Mr. Bauer. For years Deadspin repeatedly and maliciously targeted Mr. Bauer, accusing him of harassment and misogynistic behavior, and called him an “online bully,” “a–hole,” a “racist, sexist, jack—,” and a “douche canoe.” Consistent with that continued harassment, G/O Media and Mr. Baud deliberately avoided the truth and fabricated the narrative that Mr. Bauer fractured the Complainant’s skull. To serve their narrative of attacking Mr. Bauer, Mr. Baud and G/O Media deliberately ignored the many sources revealing the truth—including corrections to the very The Athletic article on which G/O Media and Mr. Baud relied. They falsely stated that Mr. Bauer fractured the Complainant’s skull, knowing it was false, all with the purpose and intent to harm Mr. Bauer.

“Deadspin’s malicious and reckless disregard of the truth in the Article reflects a years-long effort to harass Mr. Bauer, impugn his reputation, and spread falsehoods about him.”

You can read the full legal complaint here.

Bauer ended up missing the rest of the season after being accused of sexual assault. He is a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Dodgers may not want him back next season. Bauer could face a suspension from MLB despite not being charged.

Deadspin is operating under a new ownership group. It was previously run and owned by Gawker Media, which filed for bankruptcy after being found guilty of invasion of privacy (and more) over publishing a Hulk Hogan sex tape. After Gawker filed for bankruptcy, Deadspin was sold to Univision. Univision later sold Deadspin to G/O Media, where the site is now facing another damaging lawsuit.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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