3:33pm PT by THR staff
Trump Organization: Cease-and-Desist Letter Over Cat Website Is Fake
The Trump Organization is saying its top lawyer did not send a cease-and-desist letter to the creator of a cat website that allows visitors to scratch at photos of President Donald Trump's head.
The Hollywood Reporter now has significant doubts about the authenticity of the letter that was initially provided to media outlets by Lucy, who says she is a 17-year-old based in San Francisco and the proprietor of Kittenfeed.com. The New York Observer first reported on the letter Tuesday and THR followed with its own report, which it is retracting and adding a correction to the article.
"It's a fake. This letter did not come from us," Alan Garten, the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, said Thursday in an email to THR.
Lucy told THR by email that she received multiple letters from the Trump Organization regarding her website. A one-page cease-and-desist letter dated March 1 on Trump Organization letterhead was provided to THR as evidence. That document is below. Legal website Above the Law noted that language from the letter matched a cease-and-desist from 2015.
Trump Organization chief legal officer Garten noted in an email that the document did not include a signature from him. The fact-checking website Snopes has also noted that what Lucy had said was the prior name for the Kittenfeed website, Trump Scratch, which now redirects to a pornography website, was registered on March 22. Lucy had told THR that the Kittenfeed website had launched in February.
Prior to the publication of the Tuesday article, THR reached out by email multiple times to Steven Cheung, Trump's rapid response director and current assistant communications director at the White House, without reply.