Crypto exchange Binance filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Forbes Media and two of its writers in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.
The lawsuit is in response to a recent Forbes story, penned by the writers Michael del Castillo and Jason Brett, which claimed that Binance "conceived of an elaborate corporate structure designed to intentionally deceive regulators," among other allegations.
In the suit, Binance, "organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands," denied all claims. It said the contents of the story are "false, misleading and highly defamatory."
"Binance does not violate, and fully complies with, all applicable laws, rules and regulations in its operations," the lawsuit reads. "Binance does not seek to evade or ‘side-step’ any regulatory entities in any jurisdictions."
Binance alleges "millions of dollars" in losses due to the Forbes story. As a result, the exchange is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
A Binance spokesperson told The Block that the exchange filed the complaint to protect its reputation and seek justice.
"This suit is intended to seek justice in false and defamatory statements that have caused major reputational and business damages, including a gross misrepresentation of our true actions and intentions in good faith and operations within the boundaries of the law," the spokesperson said.
They went on to say that Binance is not against freedom of information and press.
"This suit is not a reflection against our core value and belief in freedom, but ensuring the truth and justice. We want to assure you [The Block] and the media that this suit doesn’t represent any threats to the reporting of Binance. We and any leading industry players need media to keep us accountable and reporting information to the public," said the spokesperson.
To be sure, Binance has previously threatened to sue The Block over a story that claimed the exchange’s Shanghai office was shut down following a visit by Chinese police.
Represented by Charles Harder
Binance is being represented by attorneys Peter Pizzi and Selina Ellis of Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP, as well as media litigation attorney Charles Harder of Harder LLP, in the Forbes case.
Harder has previously represented top figures such as U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, as well as Hulk Hogan in the Gawker Media case. He also represented Harvey Weinstein momentarily, to sue the New York Times, but that case was never filed.
Commenting on the Binance lawsuit, Harder said: "Binance demanded Forbes’ retraction or correction, but it has refused. This lawsuit therefore became necessary. Binance intends to see this lawsuit through to the end, to ensure the truth and protect its reputation."
The Block has reached out to Forbes for comments and will update this story should we hear back.
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