The Volokh Conspiracy

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Kimberly Klacik Files Defamation Suit Against Candace Owens

The former GOP House candidate is suing The Daily Wire's Candace Owens for $20 million.


The Baltimore Sun reports that Kimberly Klacik is suing Candace Owens for defamation and is seeking $20 million damages. The story begins:

Kimberly Klacik, a former Republican congressional candidate in Maryland, is suing conservative commentator Candace Owens for $20 million in damages over an Instagram video Owens made in June in which she alleged Klacik had committed campaign fraud, money laundering, illegally used drugs and was a "madame" of a strip club, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court, alleges Klacik lost a book deal, had politicians cancel fundraising appearances with her and lost a contract with a "nationally recognized vendor," after Owens posted the video June 22. In the 44-minute Instagram live video, Owens said Klacik's charity Potential Me was illegitimate, that Klacik was a stripper at a club owned by her husband and that she misused campaign funds, according to the lawsuit. . . .

Owens . . . has not taken down the video despite multiple letters from Klacik that the allegations were false, according to the suit. . . .

In the video, Owens says she is "not an investigative journalist," and "could not confirm" any of the criminal allegations she makes against Klacik. But she went on to accuse Klacik of "money laundering, tax fraud and campaign fraud," as well as paying vendors to "move money off the books" and working to recruit strippers for a strip club Owens says Klacik's husband owns, according to the lawsuit.

Both Klacik and Owens are prominent African-American women who supported President Trump. Klacik ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2020, become known for a viral campaign video on social media, and spoke at the 2020 GOP convention. Owens is a conservative commentator who used to work for Turning Point USA and now works for The Daily Wire.

Law & Crime has posted the complaint with their story on the suit.