Dominion Voting Systems sued MyPillow and its CEO, Mike Lindell, looking for $1.3 billion in damages.
The defamation lawsuit claims Lindell boosted gross sales for his enterprise whereas pushing false claims.
Lindell informed Insider he truly anticipated boycotts to value him tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in gross sales.
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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he expects to lose $65 million in pillow income this 12 months due to retailer boycotts over his claims that the 2020 US election was rigged.That projection, Lindell informed Insider in an interview Monday after being served with a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems looking for $1.3 billion in damages, is proof he is not pushing election-fraud claims for the cash.”I misplaced 20 retailers, and it is value me $65 million this 12 months that I will not get again, OK?” Lindell informed Insider. “There’s your story. Print it proper. Don’t try to twist this.”The 121-page lawsuit alleges the pillow mogul used conspiracy theories in regards to the election to turbocharge gross sales for his firm, utilizing conspiratorial phrases as low cost codes and putting costly ads with like-minded media retailers.

“Lindell — a proficient salesman and former skilled card counter — sells the mislead at the present time as a result of the lie sells pillows,” Tom Clare, the defamation legal professional representing Dominion Voting Systems, wrote within the lawsuit.Dominion says Lindell used election conspiracy theories as a strategy to promote extra pillowsLindell has been an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump for years. A former skilled gambler who overcame an dependancy to crack, he credit his firm’s success to his aggressive promoting technique, which pushed MyPillow’s income to over $300 million in 2019.Dominion’s lawsuit says that promoting technique includes intertwining his private model and that of his firm to juice gross sales.MyPillow has spent tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} promoting on pro-Trump media retailers corresponding to Fox News and Newsmax — each additionally targets of litigation over election falsehoods. After Trump misplaced the November election, Lindell falsely claimed Dominion rigged the election. MyPillow sponsored a “March for Trump” tour (which was truly a bus) by which Lindell spoke at rallies claiming the election was stolen.

Dominion alleges within the lawsuit that the conspiracy theories are a platform for Lindell to promote extra pillows.”After hitting the jackpot with Donald Trump’s endorsement for MyPillow and after a million-dollar wager on Fox News advertisements had paid out good-looking returns, Michael Lindell exploited one other likelihood to spice up gross sales: advertising MyPillow to individuals who would tune in and attend rallies to listen to Lindell inform the ‘Big Lie’ that Dominion had stolen the 2020 election,” Clare wrote.

Lindell with President Donald Trump throughout a marketing campaign rally in 2018.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Lindell informed Insider that MyPillow’s promoting technique was distinct from his private politics. He stated MyPillow had promoting and sponsorship offers with the likes of CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times — all retailers he is not a fan of — in addition to about 5,000 podcasts and radio and TV stations.”I promote in every single place,” he stated. “And each spot both breaks even or makes cash.”

A consultant for The Times informed Insider it final ran MyPillow ads in 2015. The different media retailers Lindell named did not instantly reply to requests for remark.Lindell dismissed the notion that he had a “preconceived plan” to become profitable by claiming Dominion and Smartmatic, a rival election-technology firm additionally implicated in conspiracy theories, rigged the presidential election. He stated a retailer boycott from manufacturers together with Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond would value him tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in income.”Those shops mixed did $65 million in enterprise final 12 months,” he stated. “And now I will not have them this 12 months, or any 12 months. They’re performed.”Lindell says he is simply attempting to avoid wasting AmericaFollowing the January 6 revolt on the US Capitol, the place a pro-Trump mob sought to cease Congress from certifying the election outcomes, Lindell solely doubled down on election-fraud claims.

He met with Trump within the Oval Office, taking notes with him apparently suggesting the president contemplate declaring martial regulation. He continued to push the theories in media appearances and funded a two-hour “docu-movie” based mostly on them referred to as “Absolute Proof.” He, like Trump earlier than him, was ultimately barred from Twitter.He says he brazenly welcomes the lawsuit from Dominion, saying it might supply him an avenue to show his claims of a rigged election.”I’m blissful that I obtained served the papers immediately,” Lindell stated.To bolster its claims that Lindell tied election-related conspiracy theories to MyPillow gross sales, Dominion’s lawsuit features a dozen pages of social-media customers saying they’re buying MyPillow merchandise to assist Lindell’s election falsehoods.

“Mike Lindell is a real Patriot and an American hero for standing up for the reality. I’m shopping for extra pillows utilizing low cost code NEWSMAX #ElectonFraudHappened #MikeLindell #MyPillowGuy #MyPillow,” one particular person wrote on Twitter. “The mypillow man is being attacked by evil leftists. Go to mypillow.com and spend closely,” one other wrote.

Trump with Lindell in March in the course of the day by day briefing on the novel coronavirus.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP by way of Getty Images

Dominion’s lawsuit additionally claims Lindell used low cost codes on his web site that tied into right-wing conspiracy theories, together with utilizing “FightforTrump” as a reduction code whereas Trump supporters actually fought officers on the Capitol and “Proof” after broadcasting his “docu-movie.”But Lindell stated promoting companions made these low cost codes. “FightforTrump,” for instance, was from a podcaster MyPillow labored with — one of many a whole lot of radio hosts with which MyPillow has sponsorship offers.He stated that controversies over promoting sometimes elevated gross sales for his firm however that boycotts since January appeared poised to trigger long-term harm to pillow gross sales.

“When I’m boycotted, individuals have a tendency to purchase extra pillows — a minimum of within the brief time period,” Lindell informed Insider. “I at all times get just a little carry for a few days after they assault the corporate. But now this time is completely different.”

Lindell outdoors the West Wing of the White House on January 15.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lindell is however ready to maneuver ahead along with his claims, he stated, so he may “save the nation” from what he sees because the pernicious affect of communism. He stated he did not consider the individuals demanding that retailers boycott MyPillow have been actual, claiming they’re bots.”I’m not a silly particular person. I’ve an enormous firm that I constructed from scratch. I’m an ex-addict, and I’m not going to again down from some massive billion-dollar firm that is attempting to steal our nation,” he stated.”All I need is that this election now. I do not care how a lot cash it prices me,” he added.

Lindell’s claims in regards to the election are unsubstantiatedMost lately, Lindell returned to the highlight after releasing the self-made documentary “Absolute Proof,” which purports that voter interference precipitated some states to “flip” from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.One knowledge desk within the movie, for instance, says practically 200,000 votes from Wisconsin have been improperly marked as absentee ballots and will subsequently have been counted in another way — despite the fact that a number of state and federal judges, together with one appointed by Trump, accredited the counting of these votes.The movie additionally claims that a number of international locations, together with China, Iran, and the UK, have been complicit in producing election inconsistencies.

Lindell.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post by way of Getty Images

It’s not clear the place the info proven in “Absolute Proof” is from. Lindell claims it got here from “adware the federal government has” and was rendered by a “mega laptop” into charts and graphs. Federal companies have stated the 2020 election was “probably the most safe in historical past,” and judges have thrown out dozens of lawsuits difficult election outcomes, discovering no proof of irregularities.

According to Lindell, “Absolute Proof” has been seen greater than 110 million instances, although he declined to supply proof for these viewership numbers. This 12 months’s Super Bowl had about 96 million viewers.Lindell informed Insider he was not involved with Dominion’s lawsuit towards him, saying he had “larger fish to fry” and “a lot larger issues” he was engaged on. He stated he had a “huge staff” of legal professionals engaged on the case and already had all of the proof wanted to show his case.”This goes to go to the Supreme Court. And when it does, it’s going to be a 9-0 vote that our nation was attacked,” Lindell stated. “And then all of the media retailers will lastly come and go, wow: ‘Mike, you already know what? You have been proper all alongside.'”