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Home / Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer drops defamation lawsuit against The Athletic, reporter

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has dropped his defamation lawsuit against The Athletic and its former reporter Molly Knight after the sports website issued a clarification to an article about him from two years ago.

The article, published on June 30, 2021, covered allegations made against Bauer by a San Diego woman who claimed she had been injured during rough sexual encounters with the pitcher at his home in Pasadena. Bauer filed defamation suits against The Athletic, Knight, and also against Deadspin, another sports website.

According to court documents filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Bauer agreed to withdraw his legal action against Knight and The Athletic after they issued the clarification and removed Knight’s tweets related to the case.

The Athletic amended its article, stating, “This story was an account of legal papers filed by a California woman who claimed she had been injured by Trevor Bauer during rough sex. The Athletic did not intend to state or imply that the woman suffered a fractured skull.” The clarification addressed Bauer’s concern that the initial article had wrongly implied the woman had suffered a skull fracture.

Bauer’s defamation suit against Deadspin, however, was thrown out by U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty in New York. Although Crotty acknowledged technical inaccuracies in Deadspin’s article, he deemed them insufficient to support a defamation claim. The judge stated that the nature of the accusations was not altered by whether the injuries included a fractured skull or simply significant head and facial trauma.

The allegations and legal actions surrounding Bauer had significant consequences for his professional baseball career. Following the woman’s allegations, Major League Baseball (MLB) placed Bauer on investigative leave. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office also conducted an investigation into the case, considering charges of assault by means likely to produce great bodily harm, sodomy of a sleeping person, and domestic violence. However, they ultimately declined to charge Bauer due to insufficient evidence.

Under MLB’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, players can be suspended even without criminal charges. In Bauer’s case, the league suspended him for 324 games, effectively putting his Major League Baseball career on hold. Determined to continue his baseball career, Bauer signed a one-year contract with Japan’s Yokohama BayStars.

Bauer’s withdrawal of the defamation suit against The Athletic and Knight marks the resolution of this legal chapter. The lawsuit accused The Athletic and Knight of defamation regarding their reporting on a restraining order filed against Bauer. The initial article mentioned signs of a skull fracture but failed to include information from the subsequent CT scan ruling out a fracture. Bauer’s complaint alleged that The Athletic had exhibited actual malice by intentionally omitting the CT scan results.

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