Hunter Biden sues Fox News over 'mock trial' miniseries

The jury in Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges finds him guilty on all three counts, in Wilmington

By Jack Queen

(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden sued conservative news outlet Fox News on Monday for publishing nude photos and videos of him in a fictionalized “mock trial” show focused on his foreign business dealings.

Hunter Biden alleges Fox violated New York state’s so-called revenge porn law, which makes it illegal to publish intimate images of a person without their consent. He is also suing for unjust enrichment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Fox aired “The Trial of Hunter Biden: A Mock Trial for the American People” on its Fox Nation streaming platform in October 2022 but later took it down under threat of lawsuit by Biden’s attorneys.

Fox News said in a statement that its coverage of Hunter Biden and investigations into his conduct has been accurate and is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“This entirely politically motivated lawsuit is devoid of merit," Fox said, adding that it only removed the program out of an abundance of caution.

Biden's lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The series depicted a fictional trial of Hunter Biden on illegal foreign lobbying and bribery charges, crimes he has never been indicted for.

Biden was convicted on federal gun charges in June and faces a September trial for alleged tax crimes.

“While using certain true information, the series intentionally manipulates the facts, distorts the truth, narrates happenings out of context, and invents dialogue intended to entertain,” Hunter Biden said in the lawsuit.

The series also includes photos and videos of Biden in the nude and engaged in sex acts, according to the lawsuit.

Biden alleges Fox knew the private photos and videos were hacked or stolen but published them anyway for entertainment purposes, in violation of New York’s revenge porn statute.

Fox took down the show in April but has not removed promotional reels and clips, according to the lawsuit, which says it remains accessible on third-party streaming platforms.

Biden said the show has done irreparable damage to his reputation and caused him severe emotional distress, humiliation and mental anguish. He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Biden was convicted in June of lying about his drug use to buy a gun and illegally possessing a firearm after a trial in Delaware. His lawyers have said he will appeal.

He is also set to stand trial in California on Sept. 5 for allegedly failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2019, while allegedly spending millions of dollars on drugs, escorts, exotic cars and other big-ticket items.

Biden has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

(Reporting by Jack Queen; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Bill Berkrot)