Pepper-sprayed woman who sued Cal, Berkeley for $23M, drops lawsuit

The woman who filed a $23 million lawsuit against 16 defendants, including Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguín, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and George Soros, the billionaire, has dropped her lawsuit.

Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, which filed the suit in June on behalf of Kiara Robles, filed papers to drop the suit on Tuesday.

“It’s a tactical decision,” said Klayman, who declined to elaborate on any aspect of the suit.

In the original suit, Robles, of Oakland, claimed that UC and Berkeley officials allow conservatives like her to be attacked on campus because of their own political beliefs. She sought as much as $3 million in damages.


The defendants “have subjected UC Berkeley students and invitees who do not subscribe to the radical, left-wing philosophies sanctioned by Defendants to severe violence and bodily harm for merely expressing a differing viewpoint, in clear contravention of their rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” according to the lawsuit.

Robles had come to campus Feb.1 to hear Milo Yiannopoulos speak. University officials canceled the speech after a group of about 100 to 150 black-clad protesters stormed the student center and threw objects at police and the building. The anarchists caused about $100,000 in damage to the campus and another $500,000 downtown.

While Robles was giving an interview to a news organization, someone ran by and doused her with pepper spray. Robles also alleged in the lawsuit that a UC Berkeley employee, Ian Dabney Miller, had hit her with a flagpole. Her lawsuit contended that Cal, Berkeley, and others were negligent in protecting her because they should have known violence would break out.

Before she stepped back from the suit, Robles and her attorney had asked that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken recuse herself from hearing the case since she attended UC Berkeley, according to Courthouse News Service.

“The plaintiff argued a conflict of interest was apparent because Wilken graduated from the defendant University of California, Berkeley, and because she was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, the husband of Hillary Clinton, whom Robles said was supported by violent protesters that attacked her,” according to Courthouse News Service.


Wilken declined to recuse herself.

Protesters gathered at Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley on Feb. 1 2017, to protest Milo Yiannopoulos. Photo: Dan Lurie

Soros filed a motion to dismiss the case on July 17, arguing that it was the fourth case Klayman had filed against him in the past year “each of which is based on vague and conclusory allegations of a conspiracy, funded by Mr. Soros, that contain no factual allegations connecting Mr. Soros to the plaintiff’s alleged injury,” according to court documents.

“The object of these alleged conspiracies has ranged from “fomenting a racial war in America” to seeking to “delegitimize and destroy the presidency of Donald J. Trump and to destabilize American society and reconstruct it to [Defendants’] own design,” according to the documents.

The three other cases had all been dismissed, according to Soros’ attorney.

Klayman, the brains behind Washington D.C. based Freedom Watch is “is a pathologically litigious attorney and professional gadfly notorious for suing everyone from Iran’s Supreme Leader to his own mother,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. “He has spent years denouncing Barack Obama as a crypto-Communist Muslim, convening meaningless “citizens grand juries,” and railing against an endless list of enemies.”


During a brief phone call on Thursday, Klayman, threatened to sue Berkeleyside, too, if he didn’t like the article.