Author faces civil suit over ’Three Cups of Tea’

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The attorney for Greg Mortenson’s publisher says the “Three Cups of Tea” author can exaggerate or even lie in a memoir, and it’s still constitutionally protected free speech.

Penguin Group (USA) attorney Jonathan Herman and attorneys for Mortenson, co-author David Oliver Relin and the Central Asia Institute asked a federal judge Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit by four people who bought Mortenson’s books.

The lawsuit claims Mortenson and the others committed fraud by lying about how he came to build schools in Central Asia so they could sell more books.

Herman and the other defendants’ attorneys say there was no fraud involved because there was no injury to the plaintiffs

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon did not make an immediate ruling, saying he wants to consider the arguments further.

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