Lawyers bringing defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed use clickbait headline in official court document

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By Thomas Connelly on

Exhibit 41 is a picture of a kitten

Lawyers bringing a defamation claim on behalf of a Russian businessman against news website BuzzFeed have included a clickbait-style headline in an official court document.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed published a leaked dossier about President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. Containing a number of unverified and salacious allegations, the report also seemingly falsely claimed that Aleksej Gubarev — a Russian technology executive — was involved in Russian hacking against the Democratic Party.

Unhappy that he had been name-checked in the report, Gubarev, via his Boston-based lawyers — Evan Fray-Witzer, Valentin Gurvits and Brady J. Cobb — commenced legal action against the media giant.

Now, much to Legal Cheek’s amusement, Gubarev’s lawyers have filed a document which appears to give BuzzFeed a taste of its own clickbait medicine. The title of the court document, which is in response to the website’s application to have the matter moved to a New York court, states: “Six Ways BuzzFeed Has Misled the Court (Number Two Will Amaze You)… And a Picture of a Kitten.”

Court document featuring clickbait headline

And yes, the official court document — in a hat tip to BuzzFeed’s love of all things cute a cuddly — does actually included a photograph of a kitten (pictured below). Listed as ‘Exhibit 41’, the unnamed feline purportedly belongs to Gubarev’s lawyer Fray-Witzer.

Fray-Witzer’s kitten

The 22-page court document goes on to discuss non-kitten related matters such as jurisdiction and trial location. A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said:

We’re surprised by the plaintiffs’ desire to make light of this matter, and we are confident in our motion to dismiss Mr Gubarev’s suit.

Read the court document in full below:

The exhibits can be found here.

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