MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell fled the stage at his cyber symposium at the same time news broke that Dominion’s billion-dollar defamation lawsuit against him would proceed

Mike Lindell with his hands raised.
The voting-machine maker Dominion Voting Systems is suing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Mike Lindell left the stage at his conference when news broke about Dominion’s lawsuit against him.
  • A federal judge denied Lindell’s bid to dismiss the voting-machine maker’s $1.3 billion lawsuit.
  • Lindell is holding a 72-hour event in South Dakota to prove his election conspiracy theories.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was seen dashing off the stage at his cyber symposium Wednesday at the same time news broke that the $1.3 billion defamation suit filed against him by Dominion Voting Systems would go ahead.

Lindell attempted to have the defamation lawsuit dismissed during a hearing in June. But US District Judge Carl J. Nichols on Wednesday ruled the three defamation lawsuits against Lindell and the pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani could proceed in full. The suits are seeking more than a billion dollars in damages from each party.

Nichols noted in his judgment that the First Amendment offered “no blanket immunity” to Lindell in the Dominion lawsuit. The company alleges it was defamed by Lindell’s false claims that it rigged the 2020 election against Donald Trump.

A day before the judgment, Dominion filed lawsuits accusing the right-wing media networks One America News and Newsmax of pushing false theories about the election.

Lindell is hosting a marathon 72-hour cyber symposium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, set to conclude Thursday, in a bid to prove his election conspiracy theories.

After news emerged at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday that his attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed was unsuccessful, Lindell was seen on video getting off his seat and rushing off the stage abruptly, disappearing behind a dark curtain.

At the time of this article’s publication, Lindell hadn’t returned, and the livestream of the cyber symposium was replaced by a video reel showing news articles touting voter-fraud claims next to an image of Lindell hugging a pillow.

Mike lindell pillow cyber symposium
The livestream of Lindell’s cyber-symposium feed was replaced with a reel of news-article clips accompanied by a MyPillow ad after the CEO abruptly left the stage. Screengrab/Mike Lindell Cyber Symposium livestream

Lindell had told attendees on Wednesday that he intended to stay onstage for three days straight.

“We’re not going on a break,” Lindell said. “You guys can go eat. That’s fine, but I ain’t eating! I’m staying up here for 72 hours.”

Zachary Petrizzo, a journalist from the news outlet Salon who was covering the event, noted that Lindell was talking to a mostly empty hall on day two of the conference.

Lindell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.