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Hunter Biden sues Fox News over ‘mock trial’ miniseries

CNN  —  Hunter Biden has sued Fox News and its parent corporation, accusing the right-wing network of smearing him and unlawfully publishing his explicit images without his consent in a 2022 miniseries about his legal troubles. In the lawsuit, filed Sunday in New York state court, the president’s sonaccuses Fox News of unjust enrichment, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, and violating New York civil rights laws. The lawsuit makes good on Hunter Biden’s threat he made in April that he would take the network to court if it didn’t immediately issue retractions and corrections. The miniseries, “The Trial of Hunter Biden,” was a six-part offering on the Fox Nation digital streaming network, and was also promoted on Fox News, the cable TV channel. It featured a dramatized “mock trial” about Hunter Biden’s overseas financial dealings that led in part to his federal tax indictment and that also fueled House Republicans’ struggling impeachment inquiry into his father. Fox News took down the miniseries in late April, one day after Hunter Biden threatened to file a lawsuit. But according to the lawsuit, promotional materials for the miniseries are still on some Fox News-linked social media pages, and the miniseries episodes are still circulating “online and in the public domain.” A Fox News spokesperson claimed the lawsuit was meritless and “entirely politically motivated,” and said the network looks forward to “vindicating our rights in court.” “The core complaint stems from a 2022 streaming program that Mr. Biden did not complain about until sending a letter in late April 2024,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “The program was removed within days of the letter, in an abundance of caution, but Hunter Biden is a public figure who has been the subject of multiple investigations and is now a convicted felon. Consistent with the First Amendment, Fox News has accurately covered the newsworthy events of Mr. Biden’s own making.” The new lawsuit claims Fox News “targeted Mr. (Hunter) Biden in an effort to harass, annoy, alarm, and humiliate him, and tarnish his reputation.” President Joe Biden’s son is seeking an unspecified amount of punitive damages, as well as any profits that Fox reaped from the miniseries, and other corrective measures. “The miniseries is fictionalized; it is not a news event. It was made for the purpose of trade and advertising, and merely exploits Mr. Biden’s name, image, and likeness for Fox’s commercial benefit,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers wrote in the lawsuit. Hunter Biden’s team said in the lawsuit that without his consent, Fox News “unlawfully published numerous intimate images (both still and video) of Mr. Biden depicting him in the nude, depicting an unclothed or exposed intimate part of him, as well as engaged in sex acts.” The right-wing network said these images originated form Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop – data from which was leaked by allies for former President Donald Trump in 2020. The president’s son was convicted at a trial last month on federal gun charges, and faces a second trial this fall on alleged tax crimes. However, he hasn’t been charged in connection with the bribery and foreign lobbying allegations that were at the center of Fox’s “mock trial” documentary.