Trevor Bauer sues The Athletic, former reporter: What you need to know

Trevor Bauer
Trevor Bauer
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Athletic and former reporter, Molly Knight, for creating “the false narrative” that he fractured a woman’s skull during a sexual encounter.

This stems from an incident in June 2021 in which a woman obtained a protection order against Bauer, accusing him of assault while causing severe physical and emotional pain.

While Knight and The Athletic reported that there was evidence of a skull fracture in medical reports they obtained, CT scans indicated otherwise.

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Last month, Los Angeles prosecutors opted not to charge Bauer, citing insufficient evidence.

“There was no basis for that assertion because the complainant’s own medical records — which The Athletic possessed — showed that she had no such fracture,” Bauer’s suit read (h/t ESPN). “Nonetheless, consistent with their prior and subsequent expressions of animus toward Mr. Bauer, The Athletic and Ms. Knight publicized that false attack.

“Defendants acted with actual malice because they deliberately ignored the truth — which was evident in the medical records possessed by The Athletic — and because the defendants’ defamatory statements were part of a campaign to harass Mr. Bauer.”

Shortly after The Athletic’s and Knight’s report, on July 2, Bauer was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball under its joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy. After multiple extensions, it is set to expire on April 16.

The 31-year-old right-hander was in his first season with the Dodgers after winning the 2020 NL Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds and signing a subsequent three-year, $102 million pact with Los Angeles. He started just 17 games before being placed on leave.