Failed Republican congressional candidate turned pro-Trump pundit Kimberly Klacik has filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against fellow right-wing provocateur Candace Owens over a social-media video Owens posted in June accusing Klacik of being a strip club “madame” who laundered money and used campaign funds to do cocaine.
In the lawsuit that was filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court, first reported by Fox Baltimore, Klacik claimed she has seen her career in right-wing media crater after Owens posted the 44-minute Instagram video on June 22. According to Klacik’s attorney, the pundit has lost a book deal, been pulled from political fundraisers, lost a contract with a “nationally recognized vendor,” and seen her television appearances dry up. (Klacik had at one point, like Owens, been a regular guest on Fox News programming.)
The lawsuit alleges that Owens’ video was the culmination of a “petty Twitter feud” between two of the most prominent Black conservative pundits and supporters of former President Donald Trump. According to the lawsuit, the back-and-forth between the two started when Klacik responded to a tweet by Owens criticizing President Joe Biden declaring Juneteenth a national holiday.
“Sometimes I wonder when (if ever) Black America will wake up to the psychological warfare and perpetual brainwash to believe everything is racist,” Owens tweeted at the time, prompting Klacik to reply: “Believe it or not, many in ‘Black America’ are very aware the fight is about classism rather [than] racism. Unfortunately, the loudest mouths with the largest platforms represent the majority. This might come to a shock to you because of your lack of engagement with black people.”
Several days later, Owens published a video alleging Klacik engaged in serious criminal behavior prior to and following her unsuccessful bid for a Maryland congressional seat.
While specifically noting she is “not an investigative journalist” and “could not confirm” any allegations about Klacik, Owens nonetheless accused her of “money laundering, tax fraud and campaign fraud” and recruiting strippers to work at a club she claims Klacik’s husband owns. She also alleged Klacik pushed her campaign vendors to “move money off the books.”
Towards the end of her video, Owens seemed to acknowledge her video was precipitated by the Juneteenth tweet squabble, complaining about a “new grift” and “hustle” on the right when it comes to matters of race.
“Specifically, [Owens] affirmatively accused Ms. Klacik of tax fraud, campaign fraud, money laundering, illegal drug use, and acting as a ‘madame.’ There was no truth to the allegations,” the lawsuit stated.
“In making these allegations of criminal activity, [Owens] claimed to have received information from someone who ‘stripped with [Ms. Klacik]’ and who allegedly told [Owens] that Ms. Klacik used campaign funds to purchase cocaine and scammed people of millions,” the complaint adds. “These caustic and made-up defamatory allegations are without factual support.”
In a statement to Law & Crime, Klacik attorney Jacob S. Frenkel said that “baseless character assassination has no place in political dialogue” and Owens used her “huge social media platform to attack a respected Baltimore political figure.”
Klacik first came to prominence when she unsuccessfully ran for the House seat vacated after Rep. Elijah Cummings’ death in 2020, losing to Democratic candidate Kweisi Mfume. She quickly gained notice for a viral video of her walking the streets of Baltimore and declaring “Black people don’t have to vote Democrat,” prompting Trump to boost her campaign and securing her an invite to the Republican National Convention.
Following her failed congressional bid, Klacik was until recently a frequent Fox News guest and had even occasionally co-hosted midday panel show Outnumbered. And Owens, of course, has long been a familiar face on Fox News—specifically Tucker Carlson’s show—and currently hosts a podcast for Ben Shapiro’s right-wing media empire The Daily Wire.