A federal judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of Splinter, the site’s managing editor, Katherine Krueger, and the site’s parent company, Gizmodo Media Group, in a $100 million defamation lawsuit brought by Jason Miller, a former top spokesman for the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign.
Miller was appointed as Trump’s incoming White House communications director in December 2016 but stepped down from the role after it was reported that he had carried out an extramarital affair with another Trump campaign staffer, A.J. Delgado (who subsequently had Miller’s child). He sued Splinter over the September 2018 publication of an article reporting a series of allegations laid out against him in a supplemental filing made by Delgado as part of a protracted, acrimonious child custody case.
In his lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida last October, Miller claimed the allegations made in the supplement were fabricated, alleging that Splinter (and Krueger, who wrote the story and was named in the suit) had damaged his reputation by publishing the claims.
GMG contended that the story was a fair and accurate reporting on the allegations in the court document—and protected by the privilege for reporting on judicial proceedings. In her ruling (embedded below) granting summary judgment to Splinter, Krueger, and GMG, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga—citing New York state’s fair report privilege—agreed, writing, “...the material facts of record show the Article is a fair and true report as a matter of law.”
“We are gratified by the Judge’s ruling which recognizes that our reporters were simply doing their jobs and that they are protected by the law,” G/O Media (formerly Gizmodo Media Group), Splinter’s parent company, said in a statement.
Read the full order below: