Kim Mulkey threatens Washington Post with lawsuit during 4-minute tirade over unpublished article

Kim Mulkey would like for people to not listen to what The Washington Post has to say about her.

The LSU women’s basketball coach responded to a rumored article from the Post with a seething four-minute statement on Saturday in between March Madness games, threatening the outlet with a lawsuit and claiming the investigative reporter involved has acted unethically.

Whispers about the Post article began Friday when Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde tweeted he heard something big was coming.

The exact nature of the article remains unclear, but Mulkey’s statement Saturday indicated the Post had been speaking with disgruntled players who used to play for her:

“Former players have told me that The Washington Post has contacted them and offered to let them be anonymous in a story if they’ll say negative things about me. The Washington Post has called former disgruntled players to get negative quotes to include in their story. They’re ignoring the 40-plus years of positive stories that they have heard from people about me.”

Mulkey said the reporter had been working on the story for two years, with requests for a sit-down interview. She took particular issue while claiming the reporter had sent a list of a dozen questions to LSU on Tuesday with a request for a response Thursday, ahead of the Tigers’ NCAA Tournament opener against Rice:

“This was a ridiculous deadline that LSU and I could not possible meet and the reporter knew it. It was just an attempt to prevent me from commenting and an attempt to distract us from this tournament. It ain’t gonna work buddy.

It’s unclear why the reporter would be trying to silence Mulkey after two years of attempting to interview her.

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - MARCH 22: Head Coach Kim Mulkey of the LSU Tigers answers a question at the press conference during the first round of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament held at Pete Maravich Assembly Center on March 22, 2024 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Kim Mulkey had a lot to say about a Washington Post article that hasn’t been published yet. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Mulkey, who led LSU to the national title last year, spent the second half of her speech complaining about the state of journalism and finished with a threat of a defamation suit:

“I’ve hired the best defamation law firm in the country and I will sue the Washington Post if they publish a false story about me. Not many people are in a position to hold these kind of journalists, but I am, and I’ll do it.”

It’s hard to see this speech doing anything to dissuade the Post — which like any newspaper would have vetted information and considered their legal liability before publishing serious investigative work — from going forward with its article.

What it’s definitely done is ensure more people will be interested in the article when it’s published, as you don’t spend four minutes blasting a reporter if they aren’t about print something that hurts.

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