Greg Mortenson Sued For Fabricating His Memoir

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

Greg Mortenson, the author of Three Cups of Tea, is being sued for allegedly making up the stories in his book. Reuters has the story:

The scheme, plaintiffs claim, painted Mortenson as a hero and tricked readers into donating to his charity, the Central Asia Institute. The lawsuit seeks triple the amount of book sales plus punitive damages, asking for an order that everyone who purchases the book be refunded.

The suit also names his co-author Oliver Relin, his publisher and the Central Asia Institute. According to the his website, Mortenson wrote the book after a failed attempt to reach the peak of K2, after which he ended up in an impoverished Pakistani village.

“The village was so poor that it could not afford the $1-a-day salary to hire a teacher,” he wrote. Moved by the experience, he wrote a book about it and began raising money to help build schools in the area. Celebrities and politicians including Barack Obama, have supported Mortenson’s charity.

But in a 60 Minutes special that aired in April 2011, Mortenson came under scrutiny. CBS News has more about the 60 Minutes report: “… we found there are serious questions about how millions of dollars have been spent, whether Mortenson is personally benefiting, and whether some of the most dramatic and inspiring stories in his books are even true.”