Yesterday, the British media went wild with accusations that Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, was "Client 6" in the notorious FBI affidavit that exposed the Emperors' Club VIP prostitution ring. About four hours later, every paper than ran that story took it down. Because Grosvenor is the richest man in the UK, and his rich-people lawyers (or
[Denton says these don't count as 'barristers']) threatened all of them with libel suits. Selections from Gawker's own threatening attorney letter and a bit more on Grosvenor's dirty past, after the jump.
The fact is, no one seemed to actually have any evidence that the duke was Client 6 (the duke's lawyers say he was out of the country at the time of Client 6's tryst). It is known that the duke has enjoyed the company of working girls—that's why he was forced to step down from his position in the ministry of defense—and some UK papers are now running with the more cautious story that he was "allegedly" a client of the Emperors' Club. But not necessarily the Client 6.
Of course, when the richest man in the country comes at you with credible accusations of libel in the UK (where it is much easier to win a libel suit), you stand down. Even the New York Daily News rather unsubtly altered their story on the matter, now just reporting on the old prostitution story and adding that the mysterious "Client 6" was based in London. (As our own story on the matter was based entirely on possibly bullshit and now disappeared stories from the UK press, well, it's down too.)
Shillings, the duke's law firm, repeatedly emailed and called Gawker last night.
You are publishing a story concerning our client the Duke of Westminster stating that he is "Client 6" as referred to in the FBI indictment against the NY Governor. This is totally untrue and we request it be taken down immediately. In fact, my client was not even in London on the date referred to in the indictment, was in fact far away in the countryside and had many people with him.
See? Many, many people. So no whoring!