The Gawker-Killing Lawyer Who Donald Trump Has Hired

The Gawker-Killing Lawyer Who Donald Trump Has Hired

Hulk Hogan’s lawyer, Charles J Harder, following the lawsuit that sent Gawker bankrupt has a raft of media companies in his sights over a potential lawsuit on behalf of Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump and allegations of serious defamation against them.

Billionaire Thiel is a Trump supporter and funded the lawsuit against Gawker Media and its publisher Nick Denton.

The current threatened lawsuits relate to allegations that Melania Trump had worked as

Melania Trump as a bikini model
Melania Trump as a bikini model

an escort in the 1990s and relating to her immigration status at that time. The defense is that the claims are “100 per cent false”.

Donald Trump’s strong views on media outlets, which has seem him ban media outlets like Politico and the Washington Post from reporting his rallies and to announce that he would push for stronger libel laws. He also took offence at The Guardian’s reporting his “toxic” politics.

And Charles Harder is the man who can do Trump’s bidding when it comes to attack-dog lawsuits.

His newish Beverly Hills firm, Harder Mirell & Abrams is making a major name for his firm with the Trump-Thiel lawsuits against the media. He has also sued Gawker on other cases, including a case involving Trump’s hair.

Hulk Hogan and Charles Harder
Hulk Hogan and Charles Harder

His views on the Gawker case reflect something of how he approaches his cases.  A guest post in the Hollywood Reporter saw him describing his win over Gawker in the Hogan lawsuit.

Gawker’s trial presentation was miscalculated. It tried to portray Daulerio as a “bold and brilliant” journalist; Denton as a publisher of important, nontabloid news; and the Bollea footage as necessary to telling the story of the sex tape’s existence — but on the stand, Daulerio admitted the opposite


Although no lawsuit has been filed in the latest case involving Melania Trump , Harder said things could change quickly.

In the firing line are the Dail Mail, Politico, Inquisitr (which has apologized and retracted the article) and Liberal America.

Harder listed several allegedly defamatory items that required immediate removal and the printing of a full and complete retraction and apology.

“Failure to do so will leave my client with no alternative but to institute immediate legal proceedings against you and, should that occur, she would pursue allavailable causes of action legal remedied to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

Who IS Charles Harder?

We can do no more than check his firm website:


Charles Harder is one of the few go-to litigators in the United States for privacy, defamation, entertainment, intellectual property and business litigation. Licensed to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia, Mr. Harder litigates cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, as well as arbitrations and administrative proceedings. His experience includes cases in a variety of industries: from representing major celebrities, to clients in the motion picture, television, music, Internet, social media, video game, advertising, fashion and art industries, to general business clients.

Mr. Harder has represented, among other companies and organizations: Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, based in France; Slimming World, the UK’s leading weight loss company; Passages Malibu, one of the world’s premier addiction treatment centers; and the International Boxing Association based in Switzerland.

Mr. Harder literally “writes the book” on his core practice areas, serving as Editor and Co-Author of ENTERTAINMENT LAW & LITIGATION, a law treatise published by LexisNexis which provides in depth analysis of the substantive and procedural law of copyright, idea submission, trademark, right of publicity, right of privacy, defamation, anti-SLAPP, profit participation, Talent Agencies Act, labor and employment, and insurance law.

Mr. Harder has been listed repeatedly as one of the Top 100 “Power Lawyers” in America by The Hollywood Reporter (one of only 30 litigators).

Mr. Harder has been listed repeatedly as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property, a media division of Euromoney’s Legal Media Group.

In 2016, after a three-week trial in state court in St. Petersburg, Florida, Mr. Harder won a $140 million verdict for his client, Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea), in an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media, its founder/CEO Nick Denton, and its former Editor-in-Chief A. J. Daulerio.

In 2011, after a four-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, Mr. Harder won an $18 million verdict for his client, Cecchi Gori Pictures, also obtained valuable film rights to seven motion pictures including The Departed and Shutter Island, and simultaneously defeated a $5 million counterclaim filed by the opposing party.

In 2009, Mr. Harder won four separate ICANN domain name arbitrations on behalf of four different A-list actors. Each case involved a three-arbitrator panel, and each decision sided 3-0 for Mr. Harder’s client. Links to each of these public case decisions are provided below, under “Reported Decisions.”

In 2007, after a one-week arbitration, Mr. Harder won a complete defense verdict on an $11 million claim, on behalf of Ubisoft.

Mr. Harder has obtained numerous seven-figure and eight-figure settlements on behalf of his plaintiff clients in recent years.

Just how Mr Harder affects the media outlets he is fighting in the Melania Trump case is an open question, but there’s no doubting the effect his trial success has had on marketing his law firm and his name in the ranks of America’s top trial lawyers.


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