Former Trump aide Jason Miller sued Gizmodo Media Group for $100 million on Monday, claiming one of its news sites colluded with his ex-lover to plant a false story that he slipped an abortion pill into the smoothie of a pregnant stripper.
And Miller—who was a senior aide to Trump during the campaign and presidential transition—is doing it with the help of attorneys who helped wrestler Hulk Hogan sue Gizmodo precursor Gawker for publishing a sex tape.
Hogan’s successful legal battle and $141 million verdict destroyed Gawker, parts of which were then spun off into Gizmodo Media Group.
A source with direct knowledge told The Daily Beast on Monday evening that Miller is represented in his suit against Gizmodo by Ken Turkel and Shane Vogt, who are veterans of the team, led by Charles Harder, that represented Hogan when he sued Gawker for publishing a Hogan sex tape.
Harder is now an attorney for Miller’s old boss, President Trump. The suit against Gawker was underwritten by the billionaire Peter Thiel, another top Trump associate.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court Miami on Monday and was first reported on by the Daily Mail. The Daily Beast has obtained the court documents (which can be viewed at the bottom of this article).
The SplinterNews.com story, written by reporter Katherine Krueger, was based on a court filing in a bitter custody battle between Miller and ex-lover A.J. Delgado, who had an extramarital affair during the 2016 campaign.
In the filing, Delgado claimed that before their own affair, Miller had a fling with a stripper, impregnated her, and then slipped an abortion pill into a smoothie that caused her to miscarry, Splinter reported at the time.
Miller said the allegation was in a filing that had been sealed by the court, which The Daily Beast has not yet been able to confirm. His lawsuit includes a redacted affidavit from a woman, apparently the one referred to in the filing, who says she doesn’t even know Miller.
“This case is a terrifying example of how people can use false accusations of violence against women to destroy someone’s life,” the lawsuit says.
Miller claims Delgado approached various members of the media, including freelance journalist Jordan Bloom and Yashar Ali of the Huffington Post, in an effort to plant the abortion pill story, but neither published it.
Eventually, the suit says, Delgado brought the story to Splinter. The suit alleges that Splinter published the story without verifying the claims. It contends that the site and Delgado “weaponized” the #MeToo movement in a plot to take down Miller, who says he was a prime target because of his ties to the Trump administration.
“Within twenty-four hours and without a scintilla of proof, the plot succeeded,” the lawsuit said.
“The false accusations ended Miller’s relationship with CNN and put his entire career in serious jeopardy,” it reads. “Millions of people read about how Miller tried to kill a woman, killed her unborn child, and beat another woman—none of which actually happened. And as planned, everyone rushed to judgment. Miller’s life as he knew it was over.”
“Miller and his family were shunned,” the complaint says. “Previously frequent playdates for his children suddenly stopped. At youth sporting events, people refused to acknowledge Miller and sat feet away from him. No one wants to be associated with the monster Miller was falsely accused of being.”
Miller did not respond to a request for comment. Delgado, who is also a former Trump campaign adviser, sent a message to The Daily Beast on Monday night that said, “I see no big news,” in response to the suit.
Krueger declined to comment, and Gizmodo Media’s general counsel and Ali did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Bloom, who was also mentioned in the lawsuit but not named as a defendant, said he did not even know he was mentioned in the lawsuit until The Daily Beast asked him about it on Monday evening.
A spokesperson for Gizmodo said in a statement, “We have not yet been served with the complaint, and will respond more fully when we have had a chance to review it. GMG stands by its reporting and its reporter.”