Hunter Biden is suing former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne for defamation, accusing the former retail industry executive of falsely claiming that he sought a bribe from Iran.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in the Central District of California, comes after Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, in September, with the former complaint alleging that Giuliani hacked an external hard drive associated with Biden’s laptop and the latter alleging that the tax agency his privacy.
In his latest lawsuit, Biden claims Byrne made false statements in June when he claimed Biden had contacted the Iranian government and offered to have his father “unfreeze” $8 billion in Iranian funds in exchange for an $800 million bribe. The complaint claims Byrne reposted his allegations in October on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to his roughly 290,000 followers.
“These claims are complete nonsense,” the suit alleges. “To falsely accuse [Hunter Biden] of engaging in these criminal acts is not only reckless and baseless but utterly outrageous and despicable, and it constitutes defamation per se.”
The complaint alleges that Byrne “has been told that his allegations are false, that they are causing serious harm to [Biden] and that they should be retracted immediately. Rather than retract, however, Byrne has doubled down.”
The lawsuit seeks general and punitive damages, as well as for Byrne to cover Biden’s attorney‘s fees and costs.
Byrne didn’t immediately return a request for comment. On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, he wrote, “Hunter’s lawyer must be out of his mind.”
In response to the September lawsuit, Giuliani’s attorney said, “Hunter Biden has previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop. I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing.”
Byrne has faced controversy before. The businessmanin 2019 after making cryptic comments about the “Deep State” that spooked the company’s investors, sending Overstock shares plummeting. He also told the New York Times he had had an affair with .
A former Marshall scholar who has a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University, Byrne has lately been focused on his “Deep Capture” website, which publishes right-leaning pieces with titles such as “What’s Wrong with Woke” and pieces about alleged election fraud.