Trump argues the value of hearing his own voice in Bob Woodward’s $49 million suit
Former President Donald Trump has launched a $49 million lawsuit accusing journalist Bob Woodward of unfairly trying to “capitalize” on the sound of Trump’s voice.
A lawsuit filed Monday by Trump’s legal team alleges that Woodward, publisher Simon & Schuster and its parent company Paramount Global did not have permission to release 20 taped interviews the former president agreed to take part in for the 2020 book. Rage.
Trump alleges that although he gave permission to be recorded for the ‘sole purpose’ of the book, this did not extend to his ‘valuable’ voice recordings released for The Trump Tapes audio book.
“This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic impersonation, manipulation and exploitation of President Trump’s audio collected during a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward,” the lawsuit states.
“Defendants have made such publication knowing that President Trump’s voice is one of the most recognizable voices in the world.” “To hear his words from his mouth or as they are directly spoken by him, is far more valuable and marketable than Woodward’s interpretation of the interviews in Rage.”
The lawsuit argues that the October 2022 audiobook was released “to capitalize on and benefit from President Trump’s voice at the expense of President Trump’s ability to publish his own voice given his position as author.” He argues that the former president “repeatedly told” Woodward that he agreed to be recorded “for the sole purpose” of writing a book.
Trump is seeking a minimum compensation of $49.98 million, assuming that at least 2 million units of the audiobook have sold for a retail price of $24.99 each.
The former president is also demanding that the court issue a declaratory judgment declaring that “President Trump has full copyright in the audio recordings of the interview, audiobook and derivative works at issue.”
Rageand by extension The Trump Tapeswas published as a follow-up to Woodward’s book in 2018 Fear: Trump in the White House. The lawsuit filed on Monday incorrectly states that Fear was released in 2019 and Rage in 2021.
Promoting Simon & Schuster The Trump Tapes as an opportunity to hear “the exclusive, inside story of Trump’s performance as president — in his own words as he is interviewed, indeed interrogated by Woodward,” according to a page on the publisher’s website .
Woodward, best known for his groundbreaking reporting on the Watergate scandal, also co-wrote a third book regarding the Trump presidency.
Dangerco-written by journalist Robert Costa and released in September 2021, focused on the final days of the Trump administration and the transition of power to President Joe Biden.
Despite agreeing to participate in a slew of interviews, Trump repeatedly lashed out at Woodward’s reporting, calling Rage a “political blockbuster job” and describing Woodward as a “steep and smug face” coming out of Danger.
Newsweek contacted Trump’s office and Simon & Schuster for comment.