A judge dismissed Michael Rapaport’s defamation lawsuit against Barstool Sports on Monday.
According to the New York Post, Rapaport filed the lawsuit three years ago over a t-shirt that portrayed him as a clown with a red mark on his chin, which he felt alluded to him having an STD.
“While hardly flattering to Rapaport, this image standing alone is not actionable because a reasonable audience would not understand the shirt to be asserting as a fact that Rapaport has herpes,” U.S. Southern District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her 64-page opinion.
Barstools Sports hired Rapaport in 2017 and paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars for rant-style videos and a podcast. The company also promised to make “good faith efforts” to land him a weekly radio show. Just eight months later, Rapport claims he was fired “without cause or justification” by Barstool’s founder, Dave Portnoy. The actor, comedian, director, and podcaster was allegedly let go over a tweet that offended the company’s fan base.
“If you call yourself a fucking stoolie for real, you’ve already lost in life,” the tweet read.
Rapaport’s breach of contract suit filed in 2018 against Barstool Sports Inc., Portnoy, and site personalities Adam Smith, Eric Nathan, and Kevin Clancy will be allowed to continue to trial.