- Dominion Voting Systems sued MyPillow and its CEO, Mike Lindell, for defamation and is seeking $ 1.3 billion in damages.
- The lawsuit claims that Lindell boosted sales of his business while fueling voter fraud claims.
- Lindell told Insider that he is actually losing tens of millions of dollars.
- Visit the Insider Business section for more stories.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he expects to lose $ 65 million in pillow revenue this year following boycotts by retailers over his claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Those losses, Lindell told Insider in an interview Monday after receiving a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems seeking $ 1.3 billion in damages, is evidence that he is not promoting voter fraud claims for the money.
“I lost 20 retailers and this year it cost me $ 65 million that I won’t get back, okay?” Lindell told Insider. “There is your story. Print it well. Don’t try to twist this.”
The 121-page lawsuit alleges that the pillow mogul used conspiracy theories about the election to boost his company’s sales, using conspiracy phrases as discount codes and placing expensive advertisements in like-minded media outlets.
“Lindell, a talented salesperson and former professional card accountant, sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” wrote Tom Clare, the defamation attorney representing Dominion Voting Systems, in the lawsuit.
Dominion says Lindell used election conspiracy theories as a way to sell more pillows
Lindell has been a fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump for years. A former crack addict and professional gamer, he attributes his company’s success to his aggressive advertising strategy, which raised MyPillow’s revenue to more than $ 300 million in 2019.
According to Dominion’s lawsuit, that advertising strategy involves intertwining his personal brand and that of his company in right-wing media to drive sales.
MyPillow has spent tens of millions of dollars on advertising in pro-Trump media outlets such as Fox News and Newsmax, both of which are also the subject of electoral falsehood litigation. After Donald Trump lost the election in November, Lindell falsely claimed that Dominion rigged the election. MyPillow sponsored a “March for Trump” tour (which was actually a bus) where Lindell spoke at rallies claiming the election was stolen.
Dominion alleges in the lawsuit that the conspiracy theories are a platform for Lindell to sell more pillows.
“After winning the jackpot with Donald Trump’s endorsement for MyPillow and after a million dollar bet on Fox News ads paid off, Michael Lindell seized another opportunity to boost sales: to promote MyPillow for companies. people who would tune in and attend rallies to hear Lindell told the ‘Big Lie’ that Dominion had stolen the 2020 election, “Clare wrote.
Lindell told Insider that MyPillow’s advertising strategy is different from his personal policy. He said MyPillow has advertising and sponsorship deals with CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, all outlets that it is not a fan of, as well as around 5,000 podcasts and radio and television stations.
“I advertise everywhere. And every place has a balance or makes money,” he said.
A representative for the Times told Insider that the last time he ran ads for MyPillow was in 2015. The other outlets named by Lindell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lindell dismissed the idea that he had some “preconceived plan” to make money by claiming that Dominion and Smartmatic, a rival election technology company also implicated in conspiracy theories, rigged the presidential election. He said the retail boycott of brands like Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond has cost him tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
“Those stores together generated $ 65 million in business last year. And now I won’t have them this year, or any other year,” he said. “They already finished.”
Lindell Says He’s Just Trying To Save America
After the January 6 uprising, where a pro-Trump mob tried to prevent Congress from certifying the election results, Lindell only doubled down on allegations of voter fraud.
He met with Trump in the Oval Office and took notes with him suggesting that the president should declare martial law. He continued to push the theories through media appearances and funded a two-hour “documentary” based on them called “Absolute Proof.” He, like Trump before him, was eventually banned from Twitter.
He says he openly welcomes the Dominion lawsuit he now faces, saying they would offer him an avenue to prove his claims of a rigged choice.
“I’m happy I got the papers today,” Lindell said.
To bolster its claims that Lindell linked electoral conspiracy theories to MyPillow sales, Dominion’s lawsuit includes a dozen pages of social media users who say they are purchasing MyPillow products to support Lindell’s electoral falsehoods.
“Mike Lindell is a true patriot and an American hero for standing up for the truth. I am buying more pillows with the discount code NEWSMAX #ElectonFraudHappened #MikeLindell #MyPillowGuy #MyPillow,” wrote one person on Twitter. “The mypillow guy is being attacked by evil leftists. Go to mypillow.com and spend big,” wrote another.
Dominion’s lawsuit also claims that Lindell used discount codes on his website that were related to right-wing conspiracy theories, including using “FightforTrump” as a discount code while Trump supporters literally fought officers at the Capitol, and “Proof” after airing his “docu-movie”. . “
But Lindell said advertising partners made those discount codes. “FightforTrump”, for example, was from a podcaster MyPillow worked with, one of hundreds of radio hosts MyPillow has endorsement deals with.
He said controversies over advertising generally boosted his company’s sales, but boycotts since January appear to be causing long-term damage to pillow sales.
“When I get boycotted, people tend to buy more pillows, at least in the short term,” Lindell told Insider. “They always give me a little nudge for a couple of days when they attack the company. But this time it’s different.
Despite the damage to his company, Lindell is willing to go ahead with his claims, so he can, he said, “save the country” from the pernicious influence of communism. He said he doesn’t think the people demanding retailers to boycott MyPillow are real, claiming they are bots.
“I am not a stupid person. I have a great company that I built from scratch. I am an ex-addict and I am not going to back down a great multibillion dollar company that is trying to steal our country.” ,” he said.
“All I want is these elections now. I don’t care how much money they cost me,” he added.
Lindell’s claims about the elections are unsubstantiated.
More recently, Lindell was back in the spotlight after releasing a self-made documentary called “Absolute Proof,” which claims that in some states, voter interference caused states to “switch” from then-President Donald Trump to now President Joe Biden.
A data table in the movie, for example, says that nearly 200,000 Wisconsin votes were incorrectly marked as absentee ballots and therefore should have been counted differently, despite multiple state and federal judges, including one designated for Trump, they approved the counting of those votes. .
The “documentary film” also claims that several countries, including China, Iran and the UK, were complicit in generating electoral inconsistencies.
It is not clear where the data shown in “Absolute Proof” came from. Lindell claims it came from “government spyware” and that a “megacomputer” turned it into charts and graphs. Federal agencies have said the 2020 elections were “the safest in history” and judges have dismissed dozens of lawsuits challenging the election results, finding no evidence of wrongdoing.
According to Lindell, “Absolute Proof” has been viewed more than 110 million times, although it declined to provide evidence of those audience numbers. This year’s Super Bowl had about 96 million viewers.
Lindell told Insider that he’s not concerned about Dominion’s lawsuit against him, saying he has “bigger fish to fry” and “much more important stuff” he’s working on. He said he has a “huge team” of attorneys working on the case and that he already has all the necessary evidence to prove his case.
“This will go to the Supreme Court. And when it does, it will be a vote of nine to zero that our country was attacked,” Lindell said. “And then all the media finally comes and goes, wow, ‘Mike, you know what? You were right the whole time.’