Lucy, the 17-year-old founder of Kittenfeed.com, a website that allows users to simulate scratching President Donald Trump’s face with kitten paws, has claimed Trump’s lawyers are demanding she shut the operation down. However, new reports suggest Lucy made the whole story up, but many media outlets have failed or are refusing to correct their stories.
Kittenfeed.com allows users to knock pictures of Trump’s head around a screen using kitten paws, all to the tune of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” With each hit, bloody markings appear on the pictures of Trump.
Lucy told The Hollywood Reporter in March Kittenfeed.com was designed to help her find jobs working as a developer. According to a report by Fox News, the website first launched in February under the domain Trumpscratch.com.
Lucy told The Hollywood Reporter upon learning of the website, the Trump Organization demanded Lucy shut the website down. According to Lucy, Trump’s lawyers sent her a cease-and-desist letter on March 1. The alleged letter claims the website infringes on Trump’s trademark.
The story was picked up by numerous prominent media outlets, including Newsweek, Fox News, and the International Business Times. However, the Trump Organization’s chief lawyer is categorically denying any such letter was ever sent.
“It’s a fake,” said Alan Garten, legal counsel for the Trump Organization, to The Hollywood Reporter. “This letter did not come from us.”
The Hollywood Reporter issued a retraction of the story on Thursday, stating on its site, “The Hollywood Reporter has significant doubts about the authenticity of the cease-and-desist letter that was initially provided and is retracting the below article.”
Despite The Hollywood Reporter’s retraction, numerous websites are continuing to run the story as though it’s true. Incredibly, Newsweek even acknowledged Garten’s letter, but it continues to report the story, saying, “Neither the letter or the denial are particularly surprising. Yes, Donald Trump is the president of the United States, but just over two months into his administration, such distractions have become routine.”
Trump, going all the way back to the early stages of his presidential campaign, has repeatedly accused the media of bias, and he, high-ranking members of his staff and his high-profile supporters have referred to mainstream media outlets as “fake news” on numerous occasions, including as recently as Thursday.
In this case, at least, they appear to be right.