The Daily Beast Sued by Pennsylvania GOP Judge Over Story Linking Her to QAnon Conspiracy Theory

Philly Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick had disavowed the fringe movement, then The Beast called her “QAnon-Linked” in a headline

judge paula patrick
Paul Patrick campaign video

A Philadelphia judge has sued The Daily Beast for suggesting in an article that she is somehow linked to the right-wing conspiracy movement Q-Anon, according to a court filing obtained Tuesday by TheWrap.

Paula Patrick, a Common Pleas Court justice for nearly 20 years, sued The Daily Beast in district court last week over an October article with the headline: “QAnon-Linked Judge Rules in Unhinged War Over Philly’s Columbus Statue.

Patrick’s “false light” claim is similar to defamation, and she is seeking unspecified damages. The Daily Beast did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The Beast apparently took its cue from a Philadelphia Inquirer story that ran around the time of Patrick’s primary bid for a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (she lost) months before. The paper references a right-wing conspiracy group that listed her as an event speaker – but also Patrick’s assertion that she wasn’t invited to the event, didn’t attend, and had never heard of the group.

Her name was removed after she disavowed any connection to QAnon. Patrick had earlier appeared on a podcast hosted by the organizers of the event, but said she hadn’t researched the show and thought it was aimed at “a Christian audience,” the Inquirer reported.

Still, the Beast chose to call her “QAnon-Linked” in its headline, which has not been altered as of this writing. The Beast was writing about Patrick’s ruling on a Christopher Columbus statue at Marconi Plaza on the south side, which city officials intended to remove before it was blocked by legal action.

Patrick had ruled that a plywood box covering the statue while the case made its way through court would have to come down — but that a transparent one would be fine.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.