Palin threatens lawsuit over book
September 27th, 2011
12:16 AM ET
3 years ago

Palin threatens lawsuit over book

(CNN) - One week after the release of a controversial book on Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor threatened to sue the book's author for including what her lawyer called a "series of lies and rumors presented as fact."

The book, "The Rogue," by Joe McGinniss, has received widespread attention since McGinniss moved in next door to Palin to begin writing in 2010.

Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House and publisher of the book, stood by the title and McGinniss.

"We are confident that the reporting in THE ROGUE is solid, reliable, and well-substantiated," said spokesman Stuart Applebaum in an email on Wednesday.

Shortly before the book hit shelves last week, Palin's husband, Todd, lashed out at McGinniss, saying the author had been "relentlessly" stalking his family and filled the book with "lies, innuendo and smears."

In a letter sent to the book's publisher, Crown Publishing Group, Palin's lawyer said Monday both McGinniss and Crown knowingly published false information and "defamed the Palins."

McGinniss has staunchly defended the title.

"Believe me, I'm so sick of Sarah Palin right now, that after this couple (of) weeks is over, I hope to never hear her name again," McGinniss said last week on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

McGinniss said that he had originally set out to write a book about Alaska, when Palin was picked as the 2008 vice presidential running mate for Sen. John McCain

"That made her synonymous with Alaska," McGinniss said. "My book about Alaska became a book about Sarah Palin."

The book has received criticism from a number of news outlets, including The New York Times, which said the book "chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip."

It has also been hit with harsh reviews over its use of anonymous sources for stories about Palin’s past.

But McGinniss stands by the book's accuracy.

"Sarah Palin has lived an outrageous life," McGinniss said on CNN's "American Morning" last week. "All I did was talk to people about it, and they documented it for me. When I was comfortable with the veracity of what I heard, I put it into the book. There were a lot of things that I wasn't comfortable with, that I didn't put them in."

– CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Alaska • Joe McGinniss • Sarah Palin • Todd Palin
soundoff (774 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Regardless of the subject an author or publisher that writes about another person and puts it in print for distribution must take responsibility for their works. If in fact any of the material contained therein is considered false or lies, then the person whom it was directed toward should be able to successfully sue the author and publisher for real and punitive damages. Imagine if you had a person purposely move in next to you and made you a target for financial gain and used false material or lies in order to sell their book. It would not be right. I am not a lawyer or a supporter of Sarah Palin but right is right and wrong is wrong. I hope that she nails the SOB to the cross if in fact this material is false and full of lies. It's just not right, much less neighborly.

    September 27, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Billy

    "....it's their job to destroy the lives of people for money....
    Don't you mean Dubba and Cheney? Over 4000 lives for "energy" profits...

    September 27, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. scott

    sue, baby sue....when she backs down we will see the real lyier that she is...her and the whole palin clan are narsistic lyers...sarah, just go away already.....

    September 27, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Mort Coleman

    I'm just a regular guy, been working an IT job since 1972. Have a family, some grown some not. Sarah Palin at least is willing to take on crony capitalism, take on the oil companies, and she gives a damn about the future of America, esp. the children and grandchildren of the folks who like me are working, paying taxes, and supporting a family. If she announces for president, I'll be as close to first in line to support her as I can be. I don't believe she owns her popularity to anyone and is free from excessive $ influence as possible.

    September 27, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. allens

    if you are innocent, then shutup and file a lawsuit. we know you won't. we know like all politicians and religious leaders, you are moral pond scum and the book is probibly accurate.. as for todd being upset about the book, man up, you also know the truth, don't you?

    September 27, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Austin

    Bring it on, Sarah. I'd love to see you sue McGinniss. Let's see people have to testify under oath that you are guilty of the things that so many of your Alaskan neighbors have said about you. And just for fun, let's have Glen RIce go first.

    September 27, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Samuel

    If even the NY Times came out on the side of Palin (sort of), this guy must be WAY out there.

    McGinniss does seem like a prick though. He could only write about Palin if he wanted to write about Alaska? I dare say that there is a whole lot more to the state than just its former governer.

    September 27, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Marco

    which of the truths told in the book is she most upset about? Or is she just upset that it will interfere with her opportunity to use her celebrity to make money.

    September 27, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. jk from MN

    Poor Sarah – the shoe is on the other foot and it doesn't fit her. She doesn't have any trouble spewing untruths and half truths if it benefits her. You're a public figure (you keep reminding us so painfully); this goes with the turf. Grow some thick skin for crying out loud!

    September 27, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Saul

    Many people feel that this book though full of dirt lacked in several aspects compaired to the bright literature of Geoffrey Dunn's book on her. It is called this Lies of Sarah Palin The Untold Story of Her Relentless Quest For Power.

    Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed.

    Ed Rice in Los Angeles said that, "The phenomenon that is Sarah Palin is laid bare by the painstaking research and the mighty pen of Geoffrey Dunn for the world to see...and it's a sobering picture.
    I was fascinated by the details of the evolution of her particular pathology... the dysfunctional childhood that laid the groundwork for her inability to deal with reality, her persistent immaturity, her inability to admit to error, her denial of truth, her never ending vendettas, and her refusal to admit defeat even when it stares her in the face. Winning, for Palin, seems to have taken precedence over sanity, decency, rationality and truth The details of her haphazard rise to power, her adolescent, destructive ambition, how it was utilized and how it played out in our modern political arena are fascinating and chilling."

    September 27, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. CAMRON

    Palin's biggrest mistake yet. She should have completely ignored the book and given it no credence. The fact that she is threatening to sue gives the author and the book, credence. BIG mistake.

    September 27, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Jon

    LOL lots of jealous people here. Your Obama worked out the way she said it and it is a bummer for you! What she said is exactly what happened and she is making millions on this book with free advertising. She will never run for President as they make too little for her. She is in control of millions of votes and is a power broker now. Go girl, lol Obama what a joke.

    September 27, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. keeth in cali

    The downside to that is the Palins will have to air their laundry in a court of law. Are they really willing to do that or is this a bluff?

    September 27, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. smc

    I guess Sarah doesn't support tort reform in the book publishing/authorship industry?

    September 27, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Fixer2010

    Well, it seems that our little Sarah Palin doesn't believe in the Constitution, after all. Ever hear of freedom of speech, Sarah?

    September 27, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Belingo

    Ok, that book is probably really not the height of quality journalism – probably it's the exact opposite – but this accusation here made me chuckle: "series of lies and rumors presented as fact." Right, that's SO an antithesis of what Palin herself and her employer, Fox News, are doing huh? Remember Obama's trip to India that, according to them, cost millions and millions of dollars? That was a rumor presented as fact. Birth certificate? Rumors. Death panels? Lies. Socialism? Okay, that's not even a lie anymore, that already borders the delusional.

    If that author stalked the Palin family then I sure don't approve of it, but if you make a name as a divisive, populist pseudo-politician, that's what you get in this world.

    September 27, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Mindie from India

    I hope everybody reads this book...I hope it sells over a million copies – then everyone will learn just what a fraud this moose really is.

    September 27, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Lynne

    Here is my question to all of Sarah's supports...do you really think that Crown Publishing Group – which is part of Random House, would publish a book that is full of lies? Really???????

    Do you really truly think in your logical Republican business minded heart of heart think that a big business like that wouldn't have vetted the book before publishing it??? REALLY???????????????

    Do you really think they aren't ready for the threat of a law suite? Do you really think they don't already have their ducks in a row for this? REALLY????????????????????

    yea right and Dick Chaney is really Santa Clause!

    September 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Mort Coleman

    Some one above called Sarah a liar for saying Obamma was friends with a terrorist. Well I say anyone who bombed the pentagon is a terrorist. And Obamma and he are close friends from Chicago, infact live in the same neighorhood and spent time together. So lying? I think not.

    September 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. John

    LOL..."Lies and rumors presented as facts"...isn't that her specialty? She is truly a "nut case" and knows nothing of the law.

    September 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. LazloToth

    As stated by another poster, Palin will have to prove actual malice in court if she wishes to impose damages on the book's author and pubisher. She also will have to prove not only that published information was false, but that it was published with reckless disregard for the truth. Many journalistic hacks assume that this is such a monumental task to accomplish in court that there is, in effect, year-round open season on public figures. But it's not always this way. Public figures do win on occasion, and when they do, the verdicts can be dramatic. The idiot author might see more than just his profits lost here. Palin can afford good legal counsel these days – – if I were the publisher, I'd be worried.

    September 27, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Linton

    We're so fortunate in this country to have a National Clown.

    September 27, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. rs

    "series of lies and rumors presented as fact.". Exactly- just like Sarah Palin and the Tea Party!

    September 27, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. maggie

    Go for it Sarah. I'll be thrilled to know who is telling the truth. I'm betting, not you.

    September 27, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Economizer

    Sue?.. for what?.... Palin is spreading enough lies of her own. This threat holds NO WATER!

    September 27, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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