A federal judge has tossed a defamation lawsuit filed by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy against Insider.com.

Chief U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor determined that Portnoy had not provided enough evidence showing that Insider.com had wrongful intentions to make against him, which is necessary when defamation claims are made by a public figure.

Portnoy sued Insider.com in February 2022 after the digital outlet published a pair of articles detailing sexual encounters he had with several anonymous young women.

Some of whom alleged serious sexual misconduct and assault allegations against the 45-year-old internet personality.

“Every legal expert said it was an uphill battle. That it’s almost impossible for a public figure to prove defamation,” Portnoy said in a video posted on Twitter.

Portnoy goes on to explain that he had to prove that Insider.com had “actual malice” against him when writing these articles.

Dave Portnoy
Dave Portnoy’s defamation lawsuit against Insider.com has been thrown out by a federal judge.
Getty Images

The Barstool Sports founder said the judge did not even look at the amount of evidence he provided, which included direct messages, texts, and videos, that would prove Insider.com had malice against him when publishing the articles.

“Such allegations of animosity or ill will, however, do not suffice to plead actual malice,” Saylor stated.

Insider.com released in November 2021 the article with the headline, “‘I was literally screaming in pain’: Young women say they met Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy for sex and it turned violent and humiliating.”

Four months later in February 2022, Insider.com published a follow-up story with the headline, “3 more women say Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy filmed them without asking during sex.”

Immediately following the second publication, Portnoy took legal action against the media outlet and those involved.

Dave Portnoy at bills game.
Portnoy founded Barstool Sports in his hometown in Massachusetts in 2003.
Getty Images

Portnoy had referred to the articles as “hit pieces” that were meant to ruin his reputation and drive up traffic for Insider.com’s website.

The lawsuit filed by Portnoy also named Insider.com co-founder and CEO Henry Blodget, editor-in-chief Nicholas Carlson, and reporters Julia Black and Melkorka Licea.

Portnoy founded Barstool in Massachusetts in 2003, originally heading out four-page newspapers on the street before going digital.

In 2016, Portnoy sold majority control of the company to Peter Chernin’s Chernin Group.

In January 2020, Penn National Gaming paid $163 million for a 36% stake in Barstool Sports.





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