John Lee says his opponent is behind the website that calls him a “sexual predator”; Flippo denies

An anonymous website that went live last week accuses John Lee, a Republican candidate for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, of being a “sexual predator” based on a 25-minute recording of a man arranging a sexual encounter with a woman and her 13-year-old daughter.

On Monday, the eve of the Republican primary, Lee issued a press release accusing his main opponent, David Flippo, of being behind the “deliberately false and disgusting attacks.” His campaign did not specify what conclusion it reached that Flippo was personally involved in the allegations. The campaign said the audio recording was “clearly not from John Lee.”

Lee’s campaign filed suit in Clark County District Court on Monday, saying it had turned over evidence to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Lee’s campaign claimed the recording was either faked or created using deepfake artificial intelligence, a method that digitally alters media to spread misinformation.

In a statement Monday, Rory McShane, founder of McShane LLC, which manages Flippo’s campaign, said the campaign plays no role on the website.

“The Flippo campaign team had no involvement in the publication of this website or the recording and even went so far as to preemptively alert the Lee campaign team to the existence of this website over six months ago,” the statement said.

In the complaint, Lee’s lawyers said the audio was discussed at a meeting between both campaigns in December. They also alleged that a Clark County man named Lou Colagiovanni — who is listed as a defendant alongside Flippo and his campaign — offered the audio to Flippo’s campaign for $20,000. Colagiovanni, a political blogger, helped expose a sex scandal involving former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

Colagiovanni did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Although the complaint does not specify whether that exact transaction ultimately took place, Flippo and his campaign team are accused of using the audio file to defame Lee and cause him emotional distress, requiring him to hire legal counsel to pay up to $15,000 in damages.

“Defendants created, published and otherwise used the website to harm Mr. Lee in order to support Flippo’s career and his current campaign for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District,” the lawsuit states.

The website, which went live on Wednesday, accused Lee of being a “deviant who seeks incestuous relationships with mothers and their teenage daughters.” The claim is based on a 25-minute audio file in which a man appears to respond to a Craigslist ad seeking someone to have sex with a mother and her 13-year-old daughter.

This last-minute political mudslinging comes one day before polls close for the Nevada primary elections.

Lee – a former Democratic state representative, mayor of North Las Vegas and Republican gubernatorial candidate – and Flippo, a far-right Air Force veteran, are the two front-runners in the Republican race against Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV). Lee has received endorsements from former President Donald Trump and Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo.