Palin threatens lawsuit over book
September 27th, 2011
12:16 AM ET
10 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. Jack

    People in the public eye get books written about them all the time, and often unflatering. W. had them, Obama has them etc etc. If she is so thin-skinned she needs to get out of the public eye. Maybe she justs wants more money?

    September 27, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. JW

    She won't sue, no way on earth. Truth is a defense in these sort of cases. If she sued, she would open the door to all sorts of things about herself and her past. She would be subject to prying depositions, and so would her friends and family. All sorts of secrets would come out, and her political career would be over. She is just making a show for her fans, and trying to imply things aren't true. But she'll never sue, no way. And the author's lawyers know that just as much.

    September 27, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Chumlee

    Please, just go away!

    September 27, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. jesor

    Here's a bit of free advice for Mrs. Palin. If you want to sue as a public figure, you have to show "actual malice" which means you have to prove that he was out to get you. Now I know that you think pretty much everyone who disagrees with you is "out to get you", but proving that in a court of law is a different story. On the other hand if it does help bring you back to the reality the rest of us share, then go for it. It might make you a better person.....for once.

    September 27, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Chrisg

    And the American people threaten TO SUE PALIN over ALL THE LIES, CHARATER ASSANATIONS, CROSSHAIRS, LIBEL STATEMENTS, DEATH PANELS, etc, etc, etc!!! This is what is waiting for YOU Palin if you dont go away NOW.

    September 27, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. iceworm

    Why doesn't she just sue, instead of threatening?

    September 27, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. allan

    No one should be really surprised at her hypocrisy, although it is interesting to hear the pot calling the kettle black. She has told so many lies about the President, Democratic policy proposals, etc., that I'm not sure she can tell the difference between what is true and what is false. Think about her saying that the health care reform included death panels...a bald-faced lie because she could never point to where anything remotely like that was contemplated by anyone other than her and other liars.

    September 27, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Rich

    Hey Todd, try some David Allan Coe! Might make you feel right.

    September 27, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Pat in il

    Her pouting and immaturity cracks me up. I think I'll sue because of the misledading, lies, etc. Contained in her dumb movie, speeches, interviews, etc. Also, I don't see any reason that her unemployed, uneducated husband should open his mouth about anything, either.

    September 27, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Jack from Illinois

    Almost impossible for a celebrity – which Palin now is – to win a libel case.

    Yes, this is all about keeping her name in the headlines, and nothing to do with law.

    September 27, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Inrealityhere

    This guy says he's so sick of her but spent how long living next to her so he could watch her and her family's every move?
    I hope she sues and wins every cent he earns off his I'll-gotten royalties. For all you Palin haters, I suppose you wouldn't mind having this creepy guy stalk you and then have a book published about you – lies or not!

    September 27, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. stoptheh8te

    Why does this upset her? Most of what she says are lies, exaggerations and omission of facts only the stir up excitement to keep her name relevant. The author is using a play out of her playbook to make money.

    September 27, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. David

    Really?? Todd knows the meaning of innuendo?? Really?? The only thing this lawsuit will do is boost the sales of the book.

    September 27, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  14. Anonymous

    What did she expect. She asked and intimidated whoever she could to NOT talk to McGuiness, so the only people left who would talk with him were the ones who hated her guts. Sounds like a real nasty neighbor gossip piece, which I for one, can't wait to read. And for those of you who love Sarah, I invite you to Carson City, NV. Just outside the town limits is the world famous Moonlight Bunny Ranch Brothel. Their Sarah look-alike has been doing wonders for our local economy. I understand that even here is a really red territory, that men love doing nasty things with and to our Sarah.

    September 27, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  15. hwy911

    People who live in glass houses on Lake Lucille should definitely not throw stones. And if you're going to run for president, you should make sure that you don't have a bunch of skeletons rattling around in your closet – people will look and they WILL find them.

    September 27, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. alleygator

    So now Sister Sarah hates free speech and has become a bosom buddy to the trial lawyers and a hater of tort reform.

    September 27, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Me

    She won't sue because most of it is probably true. She is just threatening the suit because it's what you do when an unfavorable book is written about you. If anything, she should send McGinniss a check for keeping her in the news.

    September 27, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. John

    Does Obama get to sue for all the books full of lies written about him?

    September 27, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. mdn

    If Sarah can't take the heat, she should get out of the kitchen.

    September 27, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. dina

    She is called thin skinned and it is obvious she is. People write boks all the time that border on the truth. Blame the publisher.She would get more potential money if it would ever go to trial. She is just dong this for the money. Most of her consituents can't read anyway.And people who read don't support her either. She is such an egotistic and narcissitic person wo really thinks the world cares about her stupidity.

    September 27, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. ric

    I have no pity for you Sarah. Karma. You reap what you sow.

    September 27, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. sortakinda

    Let me share some legal information: Sarah Palin is a Public Figure. She chose to be one, and continues to be one. She has made her entire family Public Figures. Anybody can sue anybody for virtually anything in the US in Federal Court or the states, depending on jurisdiction over the parties. A Public Figure CANNOT succeed in a libel suit unless he/she can prove ACTUAL MALICE, which is more than the author knowing that the information is false. It must be known to be false and delivered for the intentional purpose of harming the Public Figure, and the PF must be able to prove damages. Good Luck, Sarah. You have nothing.

    September 27, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. ric

    Sarah Who? She is yesterday's news, and then some.

    September 27, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. thrifty

    Wow, the peaceful loving libs seem so hate filled. Typical from the left.

    September 27, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. bp

    no she won't. she doesn't want anyone to look into these stories.

    September 27, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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