Trevor Bauer sues Deadspin for libel

Trevor Bauer won a legal victory over sexual assault allegations he faced last year, and now he’s seeking another.

Bauer announced Thursday that he has filed a defamation lawsuit against sports website Deadspin. Bauer is specifically suing Chris Baud, editor of Deadspin, 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 on Deadspin’s writing that Bauer fractured his accuser’s skull.

Representatives for Bauer said the woman’s CT scan showed no fractures. Representatives for Bauer apparently contacted Deadspin three times asking them to correct their claim that Bauer had fractured the woman’s skull. Bauer’s team say they were ignored and later 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 made corrections to the accusation that Bauer fractured the woman’s skull. Even after these corrections were published, Deadspin continued to publish in subsequent articles that Bauer had fractured the woman’s skull. They wrote in a later story that the woman had “her skull fractured” by Bauer.

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

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

“The article was the culmination of a relentless campaign by Deadspin to defame and attack Mr. Bauer. For years, Deadspin has repeatedly and maliciously targeted Mr. Bauer, accusing him of harassment and misogynistic behavior, and called him an “online bully,” “a-hole,” “racist, sexist, jack—” and “shower canoe.” In keeping with this ongoing harassment, G/O Media and Mr. Baud deliberately avoided the truth and fabricated the account that Mr. Bauer fractured the Complainant’s skull.To serve their narrative of the attack on Mr. Bauer, Mr. Baud and G/O Media deliberately ignored the numerous sources revealing the truth, including corrections to the very article in The Athletic upon which G/O Media and Mr. Baud relied They falsely stated that Mr. Bauer had fractured the plaintiff’s skull, knowing it to be untrue, all with the purpose and intent to harm Mr. Bauer.

“Deadspin’s malicious and reckless disregard for the truth contained in the article reflects a years-long effort to harass Mr. Bauer, attack his reputation and spread lies about him.”

You can read the full legal complaint here.

Bauer missed the remainder of the season after being charged with sexual assault. He is a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Dodgers may not want him back next season. Bauer could face suspension from MLB despite not being charged.

Deadspin operates under a new ownership group. It was previously managed and owned by Gawker Media, which filed for bankruptcy after being found guilty of invasion of privacy (and more) for posting a Hulk Hogan sex tape. After Gawker filed for bankruptcy, Deadspin was sold to Univision. Univision then 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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