Idea for The Huffington Post Stolen? 'Absurd, Ludicrous' Say Co-Founders Arianna Huffington, Ken Lerer

HuffingtonPostLogo.jpgThe Huffington Post co-founders Arianna Huffington and Ken Lerer scoffed at accusations by Democratic consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce that the Web site was their idea and that a handshake agreement was violated, Politico reported.

Huffington and Lerer called the accusations “a completely absurd, ludicrous supposition” in an email to Politico, adding:

We have now officially entered into Bizzaro World. James Boyce and Peter Daou, two political operatives who we rejected going into business with or hiring six years ago, and who had absolutely nothing to do with creating, running, financing, or building The Huffington Post, now concoct some scheme saying they own part of the company. For months now, they have been trying to extract money from us. They are filing the lawsuit of course because we did not agree to any payment.

Daou and Boyce wrote in their complaint, according to Politico:

Huffington has styled herself as a “new media” maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the Internet in the service of political ends. As will be shown at trial, Huffington’s and Lerer’s image with respect to The Huffington Post is founded on false impressions and inaccuracies: They presented the “new media” ideas and plans of Peter Daou and James Boyce as their own in order to raise money for the Web site and enhance their image, and breached their promises to work with Peter and James to develop the site together.

Daou and Boyce plan to file a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Politico reported.