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John Lee files complaint over ‘defamatory’ website

Republican congressional candidate and former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee filed a civil complaint against people he alleges made a website defaming his character.

Lee, running in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District against retired Air Force Lt. Col. David Flippo in Tuesday’s primary, filed a complaint in District Court on Monday and said it referred the matter to both the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI.

“We expect law enforcement will vigorously investigate and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law,” his campaign said in a statement Monday afternoon.

The campaign alleges a website called “therealjohnlee.com” surfaced on June 5 and claimed to have an audio tape of Lee soliciting illegal behavior through a Craigslist ad. The campaign said the audio is not of Lee and is either generated using artificial intelligence or was fabricated by actors.

In the complaint, Lee names Flippo and Flippo’s campaign as defendants, as well as a Nevada resident who couldn’t be reached for comment — although the complaint says other people may be responsible. The complaint accuses the defendants of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy.

Rory McShane, a strategist for Flippo’s campaign, said in a statement the campaign was not involved in the publication of the website or the recording, and “went as far as to preemptively make the Lee campaign aware of its existence more than six months ago.”

Lee asked for $15,000 to be awarded to him, as well as other punitive damages to be determined.

“There is no room for this type of illegal behavior in our elections or our society as a whole,” Lee said in the statement. “Individuals who think they can hide behind fake websites and deepfake content will be met with the full strength of our legal system.”

Lee, who previously ran for governor in 2022, received Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo’s endorsement as well as that of former President Donald Trump’s.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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