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. Loopman

    I personally don't look for her to sue because in order to win, she has to prove that the information in the book isn't true. To me, that could be a tall order.

    September 27, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. sortakinda

    Truth is the author's absolute defense. But when dealing with a public figure, it is not his only defense. In fact the burden is on the plaintiff to prove libel according to the Times v. Sullivan standard.

    September 27, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. sortakinda

    Once again, Ms. Palin is yapping about something she knows nothing about. Yap, yap, yap–SQUAWK!

    September 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Bob, Virginia

    Can't wait for the Glen Rice testimony!

    September 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Mark

    I own a home in Northern Idaho and would love Sarah living in our sub division. At least we would have someone with morals and some great skills at keeping the press and libs honest if that is possible ? Hope she sues and wins millions !!!!!!!!!!!! Sarah and her family are great examples to the rest of our nation and I only wish we had more folks like the Palins in our country. Or maybe you jealous pundits prefer someone with no morals or standards to follow ?? We know that the Palins are doing something right when they can keep the left in a state of confusion and hate. Keep up the good work Todd and Sarah !!!!!!!!!!

    September 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. sf

    abusing our power are we idiot Sarah?

    and wait, then the country should sue YOU for all the lies you and your right wing nut job idiot candidates spew out DAILY!

    September 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. JoJo

    Sarah Palin, the queen of political liars, is angry that someone else is lying about her?! Oh, the irony.

    September 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. marty

    Get a life people. Slander is slander whether you like the person or not. This isn't lying, this is slander. Just because some people love to gossip doesn't make it right. Especially when published as 'gospel truth'.

    September 27, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. mrgmorgan56

    Palin sue?! The American people should sue her. She is an embarrassment and the self proclaimed clown of the United States. To Europe, she is a sad joke.

    September 27, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Tony in Maine

    It's all about money with the Palins. If the job of POTUS paid as well as your average WAll Street trader, she'd be running now and running her mouth about the media and everyone else who has been mean to her.

    September 27, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Michael

    Oh theres some irony here. Palin complains about big government all the time, but wants to clog the justice system with a silly lawsuit. Remember Sarah: Its only libel if its not true.

    September 27, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. Ken

    People forget that Bob Woodward relied almost exclusively on unnamed sources in his works.

    Based on Joe McGinniss's earlier works, I don't question his integrity. Sarah Palin, on the other hand...

    September 27, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. ricnaustin

    So Todd says that McGuinness relentlessly stalked the family. If that were the case, any half intelligent person would have gotten the authorities involved....

    Just go away Palins, please! I can't open anything without reading about the Pitbull with lipstick. Palin loves to dish it but can't take it. She's such a victim. If out of some sort of aberation, Palin became President, is she going to cry "I'm a victim" every time somebody crosses her?

    Geez!!! Just go away!! Media, please stop covering her. She'll continue until the media ignores her. She's a non-story.

    September 27, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. CRB

    And I ask again (with everything else that is going on in the world), why does anyone care about what Palin does or has done in her life?

    Are we that bored?

    As far as Palin suing...she wanted the attention – she got it!

    September 27, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. TPF

    She better look in the mirror if she wants to see someone who tells lies as truths.

    September 27, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. blue

    She thinks that she should have the last word.. Maybe, we would like to hear the last word. This will not go anywhere. She does not want the truth confirmed in court.

    September 27, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. erich2112x

    Aw yes, the nature of the narcissistic personality in full swing here. They'll smear and lie about anyone who gets in their way or even causes the slightest discomfort in their quest for self gratification, but God forbid anyone give it back to them.

    September 27, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Carol

    Palin is the #1 liar here! There are also people in Alaska that fear the Palin's and will not talk or have to speak anonymously. That should tell you something.

    September 27, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Mark

    Does this mean I can sue Sarah Palin over her book "Going Rogue", as a "series of lies presented as fact"?

    September 27, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Anonymous

    If you can sue for "series of lies and rumors presented as fact." then Obama better get ready. He is deep trouble.

    September 27, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Mack

    $arah is testing the water by "threatening" to sue; she merely wants to see what the public opinion is about a possible lawsuit. Her lawyer is in it for the $$$, too. McGinniss certainly did not "defame the Palins" in his book; they did that themselves, they didn't need McGinniss' help.

    Palin's book – "Going Rogue"
    McGinniss' book – "The Rogue"

    September 27, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. John w

    if your going to look at this you should look at both sides of the arguement

    September 27, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. RB

    I hate John McCain for bringing this sideshow to our country. Who gives a crap. She quit politics and is now a celebrity. Put this stuff in your entertainment section, not news.

    September 27, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    She is all PREPARATION and no H!!

    September 27, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Lisa P

    Ha ha ha! Say good-bye to sweet Sarah! Someone must have told her there's no such thing as bad publicity and now she's going to take that to court. Maybe she's counting on a friendly judge, and maybe she'll get one. In the court of public opinion, though, the friendly judges are few and far between. She might be able to disprove a detail here and there, or to claim that certain statements are just the speaker's opinion, but if just one of the substantial stories McGinniss tells holds up under oath and multiple witnesses then Sarah is finished - that sort of damage never goes away.

    September 27, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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