Former President Trump is suing journalist Bob Woodward over interview recordings that Trump alleges he didn’t agree could be included in an audiobook.
Trump concedes that he consented to Woodward recording their conversations for the purpose of a book, and gave 19 interviews to the veteran journalist in 2019 and 2020, which Woodward included in his 2020 book “Rage.”
But the former president is arguing the agreement doesn’t cover the inclusion of those audio files in “The Trump Tapes,” an audiobook collection of the recordings published by Simon & Schuster Inc. last year.
The lawsuit, filed in the Pensacola division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, names Simon & Schuster Inc. and its parent company Paramount Global as defendants along with Woodward. It seeks more than $49 million in damages.
“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 team argues in the filing.
“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 suit continues.
Trump’s team is pursuing a number of counts against the defendants, including unjust enrichment, violation of Florida trade law and breach of contract. At one point, the filing also alleges that the audiobook misrepresented one of the pair’s interviews through editing.
Trump, a Florida resident, has typically fought his legal battles in the state’s Southern District, but is filing this suit in the Northern District, where the defendants do business.
The Hill has reached out to Simon & Schuster for comment.