The neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer was ordered to pay $4.1 million in damages in a defamation lawsuit brought against it by SiriusXM Radio host Dean Obeidallah, who sued the website for accusing him of terrorism, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. entered a default judgement against Daily Stormer founder, neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin. Wednesday’s hearing was held to determine how much the damages should be.
Obeidallah, who is a Muslim-American, had requested at least $1 million in damages and asked that the Daily Stormer remove articles about him.
“The judge apparently found what they did so atrocious he gave them the most he could in punitive damages,” Obeidallah told The Daily Beast.
The conflict between Obeidallah and the Daily Stormer began in 2017, when Obeidallah wrote an article for The Daily Beast condemning President Trump’s reaction to white supremacist terrorism. The Daily Stormer subsequently accused him of “masterminding” the deadly 2017 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in the UK. Obeidallah sued the Daily Stormer and Anglin later that year.
The Daily Stormer was kicked off its former web host in 2017 and subsequently moved onto the dark web, where it has a severely reduced profile.
It’s unlikely that Obeidallah will see any money from this ruling, as Anglin’s current whereabouts are unknown. He didn’t show up to court proceedings, though his father, Greg Anglin, testified briefly. Anglin has lived abroad for years and says it is too dangerous for him to return to the U.S.
“This was never about collecting money. If I collect a penny from the Nazis, I’m not going to keep their money. I’m going to give it to organizations that fight hate and bigotry, the very groups Nazis despise,” Obeidallah told The Daily Beast.
Muslim activists say this ruling will send a message.
“We live in a climate where people feel emboldened to convey their bigoted views against marginalized communities including American Muslims,” Juvaria Khan, a senior staff attorney with Muslim Advocates who helped with the case, told The Daily Beast. “This case is a very significant victory. We’re very proud of our client Dean for standing up and showing that violence and bigotry will not be tolerated.”