Sarah Palin wants ‘Masked Singer’ footage barred from jury in New York Times suit
Sarah Palin wants jurors to be barred from seeing footage of her appearance on “The Masked Singer” in her defamation case against the New York Times that may go to trial in the coming weeks.
In a court filing in the Manhattan federal suit Monday, the former GOP vice presidential candidate listed a number of proposed exhibits she wants hidden from the jury because they could cause “unfair prejudice and confusion,” among other issues.
Among the exhibits listed are “Masked Singer Video – Dancing and Rapping” and “Masked Singer Video – Reveal.”
The list includes dozens of other proposed exhibits that Palin doesn’t want a jury to see unless a judge signs off on their admissibility beforehand.
A number of press articles about Palin and the Times’ editorial are included on the list, as are multiple statements made on social media and other content from the internet.
“Palin Instagram Account” and “Sarahpalin.com – Online Store” are among the exhibits, according to the list.
The potential exhibits were identified in pretrial disclosures, Palin’s lawyers wrote in the filing, but it was not clear why the Times would want to use “Masked Singer” video footage at the trial.
Palin’s attorneys argued the proposed exhibits are “objectionable on various grounds, including without limitation: relevancy; unfair prejudice and confusion; improper character evidence; and hearsay.”
The Times will respond to the motion on Jan. 17 and Judge Jed Rakoff will rule on the issue after the response, he said during a hearing Tuesday.
The former GOP heavyweight unveiled herself as a contestant on the hit Fox game show on March 11, 2020 — a stunning reveal the same night the NBA suspended its season and former President Donald Trump rolled out a travel ban from Europe because of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
Palin sued the New York Times in 2017 after the newspaper published an editorial headlined “America’s Lethal Politics” about a spate of shootings that targeted elected officials in recent years.
The former Alaska governor claimed in her complaint that the piece unfairly linked her to a mass shooting in Arizona that wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords.
Palin claimed the Times defamed her when it “falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords …”
The Times allegedly defamed her by writing in the editorial that her political action committee had distributed a map that put “Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”
In a correction to the editorial, the Times wrote the article “incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.”
The Times sought to dismiss the case soon after it was filed, but was overruled by a three-judge appellate court panel.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in the upcoming weeks unless a deal is reached between the parties.
An attorney for Palin did not respond to request for comment. A spokesperson for the Times declined to comment.