Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is suing The Athletic and former writer Molly Knight for defamation, with Bauer going as far as tweeting out a link to the lawsuit.
Bauer accused Knight and The Athletic of “knowingly publishing false information.”
All of this stems from sexual assault allegations involving Bauer last year, when he was accused of punching and choking a woman during sex. Bauer claimed that the rough sex was consensual.
Today I filed a defamation lawsuit against The Athletic and its former MLB reporter Molly Knight in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles for knowingly publishing false information. You can read the complaint here: https://t.co/2GXRxxQpEG
— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) March 29, 2022
In the lawsuit, Bauer and his attorneys say that Knight and The Athletic “defamed Mr. Bauer by creating and spreading the false narrative that Mr. Bauer fractured the Complainant’s skull.”
Knight did indeed send out tweets using the words “fractured” or “cracked” in reference to Bauer’s accuser’s skull. Those tweets are cited in the lawsuit.
“Defendants acted with actual malice because they deliberately ignored the truth — which was evident in the medical records possessed by The Athletic — and because the Defendants’ defamatory statements were part of a campaign to harass Mr. Bauer, as evidenced by, among other actions, their prior and subsequent false and misleading statements about his conduct and character, their efforts to dissuade Major League Baseball teams from signing him, and their strident complaints about the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to add him to their team,” the suit read.
Major League Baseball is currently investigating the claims, and Bauer has been on extended leave since June 29. That leave has been extended to at least April 16 by MLB.
Knight refused comment when reached by the New York Post — a strange twist, given that she has spent her entire career seeking comments from others.
A spokesperson for The Athletic told the Post, “We are aware of legal action taken by Trevor Bauer. We’re confident in our reporting and plan to defend against the claim.”
The Athletic was purchased by the New York Times earlier this year after the sports-subscription site lost nearly $100 million.