Black Lives Matter activist McKesson loses defamation lawsuit against Fox's Pirro

A defamation lawsuit filed by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson against Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Monday was thrown out by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge.

The lawsuit by McKesson argued that Pirro offers “loud, caustic” opinion while on the air. The legal action stems from McKesson taking issue with Pirro for comments in December 2017 asserting that he had “directed” violence against an injured Baton Rouge, La., police officer.


Pirro claimed she was only expressing an opinion that the injured officer, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Tullier, had the right to sue McKesson in arguing the activist and podcast host could be liable for the officer’s injuries.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Kalish sided with Pirro, a former Westchester County (N.Y.) District Attorney, who he stated was free to express her opinion while noting Pirro’s attorney had characterized her on-air presentation as “loud, caustic and hard hitting.”

“Pirro’s lack of temperament and caustic commentary is what she is known, celebrated and frequently criticized for,” Kalish wrote in his decision.

“However divisive one might find the subject two-minute sequence, the law of this state protects the expressions of opinion it represents," the judge added.

Pirro has been embroiled in controversy recently after being bumped from her Saturday night program the past two weeks after remarks she made earlier this month suggesting Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYang's tweet in support of Israel draws praise from conservatives There will be no new immigration law under Biden, unless he changes course Free Speech Inc.: The Democratic Party finds a new but shaky faith in corporate free speech MORE's (D-Minn.) religious beliefs were at odds with the Constitution.

The "Justice" host will be back this Saturday, March 30, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times last week. 

A Fox News spokesperson referred The Hill to the judge’s decision when reached for comment. 

--Updated at 9:16 a.m.