Mike Lindell Sued by Dominion Over Election Fraud Allegations, MyPillow C.E.O.
The lawsuit charges that, to promote sales of his own company, Mr. Lindell "exploited" false statements regarding election fraud.
On Monday, Mike Lindell, chief executive of MyPillow, was sued by Dominion Voting Systems, alleging that he defamed Dominion with false allegations of electoral fraud involving its voting machines. The firm is demanding damages of more than $1.3 billion.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, charged that to promote the sales of his business, Mr. Lindell "exploited" false statements regarding election fraud.
"The lie is sold to this day by Lindell, a talented salesman and former professional card counter, because the lie sells pillows," Dominion said in the filing. It said that MyPillow's "defamatory marketing campaign" boosted the company's revenues by 30 percent to 40 percent with promo codes such as "FightforTrump" and "QAnon".
"I'm very happy they did this," Mr. Lindell said in a Monday phone interview. Ready to go to court, I am. I have all the proof anyone would ever want to see.
A fierce supporter of former President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Lindell, who is best known for posing on boxes of his company's pillows and in MyPillow's infomercials, soared to new popularity this year when he spread baseless conspiracy theories regarding election fraud. The statements, particularly those made at the Capitol following the Jan. 6 rebellion, sparked a backlash against Mr. Lindell and MyPillow. A number of retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl's, broke ties with the firm when Mr. Lindell's account was permanently suspended by Twitter.
Dominion said on Monday that it wrote several times to Mr. Lindell, "put him on formal written notice of the facts, and told him that because of the lies, Dominion employees were receiving death threats."
"Lindell, a multimillionaire with an almost unlimited ability to broadcast his favorite messages on conservative media, whined instead of retracting his lies that he was "censored" and "attacked" and produced a "docu-movie" with shady characters and fake documents from dark corners of the internet," Dominion said in the filing.
Last month, Mr. Lindell said in an interview with The New York Times that he would "welcome" a Dominion lawsuit after the corporation sent him a legal letter warning of pending litigation about his false charges concerning their computers.
"In the Jan. 25 interview, Mr. Lindell said, "Dominion tried to sue me and I said bring it on, I want you to, I want you to, 100 percent want you to. "But they're not going to do it, and you know why they're not going to do it, because they know that all the proof will come out."
In its filing, Dominion said that it "will prove that there is no real evidence" through discovery to support conspiracy theories alleging that the election was stolen.
MyPillow is located in Chaska, Minn., and is relatively small; Mr. Lindell said last month that almost 2,500 people were employed by it. It was created by Mr. Lindell, a former crack cocaine user and gambling addict, according to his memoirs, after the idea for MyPillow came to him in a dream in 2004. After it started broadcasting infomercials in 2011, the company took off, and Mr. Lindell's interest in politics seems to have increased since then as well.
In court filings, MyPillow has said that it spends an average of $5 million a month on ads. Most of that has been invested on Fox News, which has boosted Mr. Lindell's popularity with Mr. Trump, a close network watcher. Mr. Lindell said on Monday, "I wouldn't go out and risk everything I own, everything I have, if I wasn't 100% truthful, and that's it."
In the fight against disinformation, defamation cases against individuals and networks who shared the former election conspiracies of Mr. Trump have become a new front.
Last month, Dominion also filed defamation suits against two of the attorneys of the former president, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell. In early February, another voting technology corporation, Smartmatic, filed its defamation lawsuit against the Fox empire of Rupert Murdoch, alleging that its anchors Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro ruined its business and reputation. A motion to dismiss the suit was filed by Fox.