Former President Donald Trump is suing journalist Bob Woodward over audio collected for his book.
The lawsuit states that Trump is seeking nearly $50 million in damages from Woodward.
Trump’s lawyers state the case surrounds “Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump gathered in connection with a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward.”
They argued the audio was “protected material, subject to various limitations on use and distribution—as a matter of copyright, license, contract, basic principles of the publishing industry, and core values of fairness and consent.”
The lawsuit notes the audio has not only been converted “into an audiobook but also into derivative works, including a CD, paperback, and e-book—again, all at the expense of President Trump and without accounting to him.”
Additionally, the lawsuit mentioned Woodward’s publisher, Simon & Schuster.
“Paramount, SSI, and Woodward proceeded with such publication despite knowing that President Trump had consented to being recorded only for the purposes of ‘the book,’ namely Rage, and never consented to release of any audio recording, inclusive of the Interview Sound Recordings,” the lawsuit explains.
Woodward and Simon & Schuster issued a joint statement responding to the lawsuit.
“Former President Trump’s lawsuit is without merit and we will aggressively defend against it,” they said.
The statement continues, “All these interviews were on the record and recorded with President Trump’s knowledge and agreement. Moreover, it is in the public interest to have this historical record in Trump’s own words.”
According to Woodward and the publisher, they “are confident that the facts and the law are in our favor.”
“Rage” was released in September 2021.
“In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office as Trump’s head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans,” the description of the book states.
It continues, “In 17 on-the-record interviews with Woodward over seven volatile months—an utterly vivid window into Trump’s mind—the president provides a self-portrait that is part denial and part combative interchange mixed with surprising moments of doubt as he glimpses the perils in the presidency and what he calls the ‘dynamite behind every door.'”
Woodward also “obtained 25 never-seen personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a ‘fantasy film.'”
In its first week of publication, the book sold more than 600,000 copies.