Hunter Biden says he’s suing Fox News because they used drug addiction to ‘dehumanize’ him and take down dad

President’s son argues right-wing network used leaks of his private photos to establish image of him as a ‘degenerate drug addict’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington DC
Monday 20 May 2024 16:33 BST
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Related video: Feds use Hunter Biden’s memoir detailing drug addiction against him at gun trial

Hunter Biden is planning on suing Fox News for the way they used his addiction to “dehumanize” him and to go after his father, President Joe Biden.

His lawyers sent a letter to Fox News three weeks ago threatening to sue the network for supposedly working with Trump-allied operatives and foreign nationals supportive of Russia to defame him and using his image to make money.

The letter asked that retractions, corrections, and on-air apologies be issued for online articles and broadcasts. The attorneys told The Daily Beast that they plan on filing a lawsuit “shortly”.

“I’m not saying my addiction is an excuse for my bad behaviour,” the younger Mr Biden told the outlet. “What I’m saying is that my addiction is not an excuse for them to dehumanize me – and in doing so dehumanize everybody from the addict that you pass on the street, to the one that you live with.”

He claimed that the discovery part of a possible lawsuit would make the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit look like “pattycakes”.

Fox paid Dominion $787m in a settlement for spreading lies about the company helping to rig the 2020 election, which was called “the most secure in American history” by the then-president Donald Trump’s own cybersecurity agency.

The lawsuit revealed that the network’s top on-air personalities had been singing quite a different tune off-air in text messages even as they backed Mr Trump and his baseless claims of fraud on the air.

“Everybody that has ever thought about bringing a defamation suit is always told they’re just going to spend any legal proceeding defaming you all over again,” Mr Biden told The Daily Beast. “It’s not like I’m going to reignite some controversy over whether or not I ever smoked crack.”

When reached for comment, a Fox News spokesperson referred to a statement responding to the letter sent by Mr Biden’s attorneys last month.

“Hunter Biden’s lawyers have belatedly chosen to publicly attack Fox News’ constitutionally protected coverage regarding their client,” the spokesperson said. “Mr Biden is a public figure who has been the subject of investigations by both the Department of Justice and Congress, has been indicted by two different US Attorney’s Offices in California and Delaware, and has admitted to multiple incidents of wrongdoing.”

“Consistent with the First Amendment, Fox News has accurately covered these highly publicised events as well as the subsequent indictment of an FBI informant who was the source of certain claims made about Mr Biden,” they added.

Hunter Biden arrives for a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill
Hunter Biden arrives for a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill (AP)

But Mr Biden’s lawyers demanded that the statement be retracted, arguing that it “falsely states” that Mr Biden was the “subject of an investigation by Congress,” according to The Daily Beast.

They added that it “mischaracterizes the plain facts of his litigation, and intentionally avoids telling their audience that their attacks on Hunter were ‘based’ on an informant who lied”.

The contents of Mr Biden’s laptop were shared all over social media three and a half years ago, garnering the nickname “the laptop from hell”.

A Delaware computer repairman says he got ahold of Mr Biden’s private materials after he dropped off three computers and never returned to pick them up. He later handed the materials to allies of Donald Trump.

“The pictures are of someone in the throes of addiction. And that’s the way that they established it,” Mr Biden told the Beast of the private images. “You know, ‘Here’s this degenerate. And we can show you in vivid detail the level of his degeneracy. And here’s him smoking a crack pipe. And here’s him naked in a bathtub…’”

“Go back and look at the Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity shows, look at what they’re doing as they’re talking about me and Ukraine, and Romania, and all the other total absolute bulls*** that the ‘laptop’ does not prove in any way,” he added. “But in the end, on the split-screen next to them is always a picture of me. Usually shirtless with a cigarette or a crack pipe in my mouth.”

Speaking about the political incentives for Fox News to use his addiction, Mr Biden said, “Whatever you say, the one thing that nobody ever accused my dad of was getting rich off of being a United States senator”.

“And so what’s the one thing that you need to do? You need to completely dehumanize me. And the easiest way to do that is to show me to be this degenerate crack addict,” he added.

Mr Biden is facing criminal proceedings in Delaware and California on gun and tax charges respectively.

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