Former President Donald Trump sued journalist Bob Woodward in federal court on Monday over interview recordings that Mr. Trump claims he didn’t agree could be included in an audiobook.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, alleges “unjust enrichment” by Mr. Woodward, who is also an editor at The Washington Post.
Mr. Trump says he consented to Mr. Woodward recording the 19 interviews conducted during 2019 and 2020 for the reporter’s book “Rage.” But the former president said he granted the interviews “for the sole purpose of a book,” and that the agreement didn’t cover the audio files, later released as “The Trump Tapes” by publisher Simon & Schuster Inc.
The complaint seeks more than $49 million in damages from Mr. Woodward, the publisher and its parent company, Paramount Global.
“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,” the lawsuit states. “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 complaint also alleges that the audiobook misrepresented one of the interviews through misleading editing.