Judge Rules Lenny Dykstra Cannot Be Defamed Because His Reputation is That Bad

Liam McKeone
Jun 1, 2020, 10:31 AM EDT
Lenny Dykstra
Lenny Dykstra | Focus On Sport/Getty Images
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About a year ago, Lenny Dykstra filed a lawsuit against former teammate Ron Darling for allegations Darling made in his autobiography. Darling said Dykstra shouted racial slurs at Earl "Oil Can" Boyd while the pair were members of the New York Mets, and Dykstra filed a defamation lawsuit against Darling.

The case was resolved over this past weekend, and unsurprisingly, Dykstra did not win his defamation case. Why? The judge ruled that Dykstra's reputation in the public eye is already so poor that Darling's claims simply could not be considered defamation. NBC Sports acquired the court documents with the judge's reasoning:

"Based on the papers submitted on this motion, prior to the publication of the book, Dykstra was infamous for being, among other things, racist, misogynist, and anti-gay, as well as a sexual predator, a drug-abuser, a thief, and an embezzler. Further, Dykstra had a reputation—largely due to his autobiography—of being willing to do anything to benefit himself and his team, including using steroids and blackmailing umpires . . . Considering this information, which was presumably known to the average reader of the book, this Court finds that, as a matter of law, the reference in the book has not exposed Dykstra to any further “public contempt, ridicule, aversion or disgrace,” or “evil opinion of him in the minds of right-thinking persons,” or “deprivation of friendly intercourse in society."

As Winston from John Wick might say, Dykstra's privilege to claiming a good reputation has been, by thine own hand, revoked.

This is generally unsurprising but still rather amusing. Dykstra has done so much damage to his own reputation that it's considered permissible in a court of law. Sounds about right.

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