Curt Schilling Backs Shiva Ayyadurai to Challenge Elizabeth Warren in 2018

Schilling offered his support for the MIT alum on Twitter.

Ayyadurai and wife Fran Drescher. Photo via AP

Ayyadurai and wife Fran Drescher. Photo via AP

Curt Schilling’s interest in a 2018 run for Senate appears to be waning, after the former Red Sox pitcher threw his weight behind Shiva Ayyadurai’s bid to unseat Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Schilling, a three-time World Series champion and lo-res Facebook meme aficionado now employed by the alt-right site Breitbart, said in September he was “getting more serious” about challenging the Cambridge Democrat, and wouldn’t rule out an eventual run at the White House. But as of Wednesday, Schilling is backing Ayyadurai, an Indian-born Fulbright scholar, for the job.

Ayyadurai, a 53-year-old MIT alum and self-described Republican, announced his plans last weekend in Washington, D.C. He later tweeted a picture of his new campaign offices on Concord Avenue in Cambridge, and called Warren both a “fake fighter” and a “#FakeIndian”—a reference to her disputed claims of Native American heritage.

Ayyadurai is perhaps best known for claiming to have invented email at age 14 while working as a research fellow at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. While he does hold the copyright to a computer program called “EMAIL,” historians generally credit the late Ray Tomlinson, who died of a heart attack last March, with inventing email while working at Cambridge’s Bolt, Beranek, and Newman in 1971.

Ayyadurai has sought legal action against news outlets that cast doubt on his claim. Represented by Hollywood lawyer Charles Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in the sex-tape lawsuit that ultimately killed Gawker Media, Ayyadurai received a $750,000 settlement in November over “false and highly defamatory articles” on Gizmodo calling him a “fraud,” “renowned liar,” and a “big fake.”

In January, Ayyadurai filed a $15 million libel suit in Boston against the tech website Techdirt over several articles disputing his claim, and accused founder Mike Masnick of “publishing fake news and 14 defamatory articles.”