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Trevor Bauer Settles Defamation Case Against The Athletic

  • The Athletic adds clarification to a June 2021 story as part of the deal that led to case's dismissal.
  • No money changed hands as part of the settlement.
Trevor Bauer settles lawsuit against The Athletic.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer settled his federal defamation lawsuit against The Athletic and former Athletic journalist Molly Knight on Tuesday. 

No money changed hands as part of the settlement, a source with knowledge of the deal told Front Office Sports. Instead, The Athletic — a subsidiary of The New York Times — posted a clarification on Tuesday to a June 2021 story titled “Graphic details, photos emerge in restraining order filed against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer.”

“This was never about money; it was about media reporting and verification standards,” a source with knowledge of the matter said. “He and his team are pleased with the outcome and happy that this matter has been amicably resolved.”

The editor’s note atop the story read: “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 story has been revised to clarify that a CT scan found no evidence the woman suffered a skull fracture, and emergency room medical records attached to the woman’s request concluded she suffered no such fracture. The Athletic did not intend to state or imply that the woman suffered a fractured skull.”

Knight wasn’t one of the co-authors of the story, but Bauer’s attorneys took issue with a couple of her Tweets. In one now-deleted tweet from July 2021, Knight wrote it was “not possible to consent to a fractured skull.” 

“Mr. Bauer has agreed that The Athletic’s clarification and the withdrawal of Ms. Knight’s tweets makes any further legal action unnecessary, and he has withdrawn his libel action against The

Athletic and Ms. Knight,” the joint stipulation filing stated. 

Earlier this year, lawyers for The New York Times filed an appeal after the judge decided not to dismiss the lawsuit entirely. 

Bauer did not face criminal charges stemming from allegations he sexually assaulted a woman who sought — and was denied — a restraining order in 2021.

Bauer has long maintained that his sexual encounters with the woman were consensual. 

While Bauer was never charged, the allegations led MLB to put Bauer — who had won the NL Cy Young Award the previous season with the Reds — on administrative leave in July 2021.

Bauer was eventually suspended 324 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy. That suspension was trimmed to 194 games by an arbitrator, although he became a free agent after the Dodgers released Bauer in January. 

Bauer signed with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan’s Central League earlier this year. He pitched in his first pro game in nearly two years last month. 

“Last year, the federal district court found that The Athletic’s story was an accurate account of court proceedings and not actionable,” New York Times spokesperson Jordan Cohen said in a statement to FOS. “We are proud of our reporting on this important story and we are pleased that Mr. Bauer has now withdrawn his claims.”

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