Hollywood's favorite lawyer Charles Harder defends Melania Trump, Hulk Hogan
Following a lost lawsuit amounting to USD 140 million, and spurring the need to file for bankruptcy, news site Gawker is looking into the root cause of its downfall.
Silicon Valley billionaire and co-founder of PayPal Peter Thiel provided Hulk Hogan with financial support, according to Hollywood Reporter. This donation was for a privacy lawsuit against Gawker over a sex tape of Hulk Hogan and a friend's wife. The news site has since been trying to figure out why Thiel would be motivated to make this move.
It seems that Thiel's motivation is a calculated move versus a 2007 Gawker article that outed him. Although the post was questionable in credibility, Thiel took this personally and patiently waited for Gawker to make a mistake. The mistake came in the form of the Hulk Hogan sex video expose, and Thiel's own personal form of justice was in play.
The lawyer behind the expensive lawsuit is Charles Harder, who frequently goes off record in litigation cases. He has become what Newsweek calls "Hollywood's favorite lawyer."
Before being particularly known for suing journalists, Harder was a journalist, and served as managing editor of Santa Cruz Independent. Through his career, Harder ended up in Lavely & Singer, an entertainment law firm whose expertise was "shielding stars and their adjuncts from annoyance" and bred the perfect lawyer for Hollywood: ruthless litigator, capable deal-maker, and doyen of divorce.
Harder was in his element, and was known for winning cases off the stand, via settlement, which was good so that his famous clients had less negative exposure to publicity. He started out with some cases wherein a famous person was used to advertise without due notice, these included Clint Eastwood, Humphrey Bogart and Jude Law.
Another firm named Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin LLP, a bigger Los Angeles firm, offered him a job and he made it a goal to making name partner. In this route, he won cases over internet domain names for Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and Sigourney Weaver.
After winning the case against Gawker, Harder is currently defending Melania Trump, who has sued the Daily Mail over an article alleging that the Republican presidential candidate's wife worked for an escort service in the 1990s.