Laura Hunter, former Ms. World 2016 is more than a little pissed off. This past year she became the face and name of “fake news” conservative website Conservative Daily Review and suddenly the entire world was angry at her for posting various stories linked to complete fabrications in politics. Her stories were linked to everything from the Pizza Gate Scandal to Obama being forced to move to Canada because of Donald Trump. In retaliation, people were looking her up, calling her phone, sending her nasty emails. However, there was one big problem: She wasn’t the person behind the site. Not even remotely.
On Facebook, she is identified as the owner of Conservative Daily Review, a very pro-Trump, ultra-conservative website, that has stories that PolitiFact called “pants on Fire” lies. Snopes even has an entire page about them. “Laura Hunter is single and enjoys living with her dog in Eastern Tennessee. When she isn’t writing or looking to spread the word about true Patriotism, she enjoys hiking and camping with friends and family,” according to the Facebook page.
But she isn’t the owner, and has no association whatsoever with the website. The site is run by Las Vegas local, Mike Powell the owner of internet marketing company Gravitas Works, who stole her name, photos and completely identity in order to promote fake news to make a quick buck.
Powell even went as far to make a fake Twitter account, and Facebook page, under Mr. Hunter’s name. After the lawsuit was served, Ms. Hunter’s photos were taken down, replaced with a Cartoon, but still using her name without permission. A search on Google still shows her photo as being associated with the fake news site in several places.
Her name comes up with dozens associated searches on fake news, and associating her with the fake stories.
Powell of Gravitas Works in fact did try to license Hunter’s name and face, without stating why. Hunter refused, and found out that her photo was already being used without permission. He still asked for permission, again and again according to the complaint, which she denied – for good reason. She isn’t a conservative, and doesn’t want her name associated with Fake News.
According to the lawsuit, she has lost significant work as a model and photographer, with people refusing to work with her because they believe she is associated with the website. Her reputation has been damaged because of it, and despite the lawsuit, her name is still associated with the website without permission.
Powel and Gravitas did everything they could to hide they were behind the site, besides using the fake name and photo. They had hidden the registration, and used fake addresses to make sure they weren’t associated: they obviously knew that is would be bad for their business. But they didn’t care it would hurt someone else.
Several networks were on the website, and the owner of one confirmed that Mike Powell was the man getting the checks, and was behind it. He said the checks they wrote to Powell every month were in the “thousands of dollars” for advertising, and they had no idea the site was using anyone’s face and name without permission.
Hunter is being represented by famed Free Speech Attorney Marc Randazza, who is well known in the online marketing community as one of the most hard hitting attorneys that never backs down.