Billionaire Threatens Netflix Over Documentary

Arron Banks issues warning as his lawyers pursue UK journalist
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2019 3:15 PM CDT
Netflix Gets Lawsuit Threat Over Documentary
This July 10, 2016 file photo shows Arron Banks in London.   (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP, file)

A Brexit-loving British billionaire has threatened to sue Netflix over a documentary he hasn't seen yet, the Guardian reports. Arron Banks, who donated a stunning $10 million to Leave.EU, made the legal threat over the upcoming documentary The Great Hack. The film looks at how Cambridge Analytica mined Facebook for personal data on millions of people without their approval, per the Hollywood Reporter. British journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who was key to the investigation and speaks in the movie, has chronicled how Brexiters used the data to stir pro-Brexit support ahead of Britain's 2016 referendum. Cadwalladr's work at the Observer and other outlets helped lead to probes by regulators and a $5 billion Facebook fine.

Speaking for Banks, a London law firm warned Netflix that the film might contain "false and defamatory allegations" about its clients. Banks is also suing Cadwalladr, saying that he won't accept "outright lying or misrepresentation of the facts." But Observer editor Paul Webster has slammed the lawsuit, calling it an "attempt to smother vital investigative reporting," while Cadwalladr accuses Banks of trying to "intimidate or harass" her by suing her personally, rather than media outlets or Ted (which aired a key talk by her on Brexit and Facebook). Meanwhile, British law enforcement is investigating whether Banks was really the source of that eye-popping Brexit donation, Bloomberg reported in February. The Great Hack is scheduled to drop on Netflix July 24. (More Brexit stories.)

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