Former President Donald Trump is suing journalist Bob Woodward and his publisher for nearly $50 million over the inclusion of audio recordings of an interview the ex commander-in-chief did with the veteran reporter in an audiobook released last year. 

Trump, 76, alleges in the lawsuit filed on Monday that he never agreed for 19 taped interviews conducted for Woodward’s 2020 book “Rage” to be included in the audiobook “The Trump Tapes,” published by Simon & Schuster Inc. last year. 

“This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump gathered in connection with a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward,” Trump’s lawyers argue in the 31-page filing.

The lawsuit claims that Woodward’s “Rage” book flopped compared to his previous Trump book, “Fear,” released in 2018, and in an effort “to exploit, usurp, and capitalize” off of the taped Trump interviews, Woodward decided after the release of “Rage” to package them into a new audiobook. 

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022. - Donald Trump pulled the trigger on a third White House run on November 15, setting the stage for a bruising Republican nomination battle after a poor midterm election showing by his hand-picked candidates weakened his grip on the party. Trump filed his official candidacy papers with the US election authority moments before he was due to publicly announce his candidacy.
Trump said he never agreed to tapes of the interviews to be in the audiobook “The Trump Tapes.”
ALON SKUY/AFP via Getty Images

Investigative journalist Bob Woodward delivers remarks on "New threats for Democracy" during CNN International Summit on November 21, 2022, in Lisbon, Portugal. Under the topic "Embrace the future: The world as we want it to be", the conference celebrates the first anniversary of CNN Portugal.
Woodward did the interviews with Trump for his book “Rage.”
Horacio Villalobos, Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

“In publishing Rage, Woodward clearly hoped to replicate the success of Fear, but he failed to do so. Faced with the reality that Rage was a complete and total failure, Woodward decided to exploit, usurp, and capitalize upon President Trump’s voice by releasing the Interview Sound Recordings of their interviews with President Trump in the form of an audiobook,” the suit claims.

“The Defendants’ ongoing concerted efforts to profit off the protected audio recordings and the works they have distributed derived from the protected audio recordings have caused President Trump to sustain substantial damage,” the lawsuit alleges.

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida, seeks more than $49 million in damages and names Simon & Schuster and its parent company Paramount Global as defendants along with Woodward.

“The Trump Tapes,” sold more than two million copies at $24.99 apiece, according to CNBC

"Rage" by Bob Woodward is offered for sale at a Barnes & Noble store on September 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The book, based on interviews that Woodward had with President Donald Trump, went on sale today.
Woodward’s book “Rage” didn’t do as well compared to the journalist’s previous book “Fear,” according to the lawsuit.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

In October, Trump sued CNN for $475 million in punitive damages, alleging defamation and claiming that the network had carried out a “campaign of libel and slander” against him.

Earlier this month, a Florida judge ordered Trump and his lawyer to pay nearly $1 million in sanctions to cover the legal costs for Hillary Clinton and dozens of other defendants involved in one of the ex-commander in chief’s failed lawsuits alleging a conspiracy to target him for criminal prosecution. 


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