Dave Portnoy Gives Up Appeal of Defamation Lawsuit Against Insider

Barstool Sports founder and self-titled day trader Dave Portnoy has dropped his appeal against the dismissal of the lawsuit he brought against the news publisher Insider, as confirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

The lawsuit, filed in February 2022, alleged defamation and invasion of privacy, after Insider published two articles that accused Portnoy of sexual misconduct. The appeal was filed just five days after the suit was dismissed by a district judge in November. According to the filing, Portnoy’s and Insider’s lawyers agreed to dismiss the appeal provided that each side covers their own legal costs.

Insider’s global editor-in-chief, Nich Carlson, later said in a statement that they’re “not surprised” as their stories were “accurate and fair.”

The stories alleging misconduct were published in November 2021 and February 2022. In the first story, writer Julia Black interviewed “more than two dozen people with direct experience with Portnoy and Barstool, including eight current or former employees,” and painted Portnoy as a sexual predator who “abused his fame and power” and put young women “in compromising positions.”

Portnoy responded to the first article with an accusation that the story, which he called a “hit piece,” was written by a reporter who “had an agenda from day one,” and said that he had “never done anything weird with a girl, ever,” but that Black had been digging stories to “fulfill a narrative that she had already written” about Portnoy.

The second story, which was written by Black and another reporter Melkorka Licea, cited three women that said that Portnoy had filmed them during sex without their permission. Portnoy filed the lawsuit against Insider, the company’s CEO Henry Blodget, Charlson, Black, and Licea for defamation and invasion of privacy five days later.

The Massachusetts district court judge that dismissed the case said that Portnoy was not able to provide sufficient evidence that the publication acted with “actual malice” in its reporting, or that it intentionally disregarded the truth. And as Carlson points out in his statement, the judge pointed out that the publication was “thorough in providing substantial evidence” for its story.

As for the invasion of privacy complaint, the judge found “no reasonable expectation of privacy in the text and social media messages published by Insider.” 

Information for this story was found via Twitter, Insider, Axios, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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