MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell dashed off stage during his "Cyber Symposium" moments after news outlets reported a judge had allowed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit filed against him by Dominion Voting Systems to proceed.
US District Judge Carl J. Nichols also ruled similar lawsuits against former President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani and pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell could proceed as well.
Video of Lindell rushing from the stage can be seen here:
Although there has not been an explicit confirmation that Lindell's exit was directly related to the ruling, the news cast an embarrassing cloud over the event, which Lindell had used to elevate bogus claims about election fraud in the 2020 general election.
The news quickly spread across social media, with many gloating over Lindell's loss in court despite his fervent support for ex-President Trump's "Big Lie" that the election was stolen.
Others offered further criticism of Lindell and his event.
In February, Dominion Voting Systems sued Lindell for $1.3 billion, arguing that Lindell defamed the company by promoting the baseless conspiracy theory that falsely claimed Dominion conspired with foreign powers to rig voting machines to stop ex-President Trump from winning the 2020 election.
The company seeks more than $651 million in punitive damages as well as a further $651.7 million in compensation from Lindell. Dominion's claim is about four times MyPillow's annual revenue.
The lawsuit was imminent: In January and February, Dominion warned Lindell that they planned to sue him for his role in peddling election disinformation, telling him that he had positioned himself "as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign."
Shortly afterward, Lindell toldThe New York Times that he welcomed Dominion's lawsuit:
"I would really welcome them to sue me because I have all the evidence against them. They sent this letter a couple of weeks ago. They're lying, they're nervous because I have all the evidence on them."
Lindell appeared to attempt to draw attention away from the news of his legal defeat earlier Thursday morning as he kicked off the third day of the "Cyber Symposium."
Lindell claimed he'd been the target of an attack near the elevators at his Sioux Falls, South Dakota hotel. He added that another event participant's home had been "raided," though he did not specify which agency had performed the raid.
He did, however, suggest that Dominion and "Antifa" could have been behind both incidents:
"This is where our country's gone. You take away the free speech. So they go after me. And they're going, 'Well, we try and crush his company and take everything from him.' And then they go after [me] physically."
"Now I've got to go around with a bodyguard. And I don't like bodyguards. I like to have American freedom to drive around, to do what I want, to not worry, to be able to take pictures with people."
Lindell did not provide more details or evidence to back up any of his claims, but that's probably why he's the target of a defamation lawsuit.