Ex-Fox News chief Roger Ailes has hired the libel lawyer who helped bury Gawker.com to take on New York Magazine, the lead publication in detailing the sexual harassment allegations that led to Ailes’ downfall.
Attorney Charles Harder sparked Gawker’s demise when he won $140 million in a lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan and backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel. More recently, Harder threatened the Daily Mail into taking down a story that mentioned past reports hinting that Melania Trump had worked as a prostitute.
As first reported by the Financial Times, Harder contacted New York to complain about articles written by Gabriel Sherman, who has investigated Ailes both in the magazine and a book. A spokeswoman for New York told the Times that Sherman’s stories had been “very carefully reported.”
Gawker.com folded last month after its owner, Gawker Media, lost an invasion of privacy case filed in Florida after Gawker posted excerpts of a sex tape featuring Hogan. Univision bought other Gawker Media properties. It emerged after the judgement against Gawker that Thiel had helped finance Hogan’s lawsuit because he was upset that Gawker had outed him in an article years before.
Harder scored another win when he sued the Daily Mail into retracting the article about Melania Trump.
Ailes resigned after former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson filed suit in July. Other women subsequently came forward with harassment allegations, with Sherman breaking many of the allegations. Ailes has resigned them all, and said he was leaving Fox News so he would not become a distraction.