Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson is suing Fox News and network host Jeanine Pirro, alleging that she made “false and defamatory statements” about him while discussing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mckesson, one of the movement’s leaders, said that Pirro defamed him when she claimed during a “Fox & Friends” segment that he directed protesters to commit violence against police officers, according to reports.
The lawsuit centers around remarks Pirro made on Sept. 29 while discussing the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a police officer who was injured during protests in Baton Rouge, La.
“Pirro’s statements are untrue and further a narrative that I, and other activists, engage in violent protest,” Mckesson told reporters.
The lawsuit contends that Pirro’s comments “are false, and were either known to be false by Defendant Pirro or were made with reckless disregard for whether they were true.”
Fox News said in a statement that Pirro’s on-air remarks were protected by the First Amendment.
“We informed Mr. Mckesson’s counsel that our commentary was fully protected under the First Amendment and the privilege for reports of judicial proceedings. We will defend this case vigorously,” the statement said.