MONTREAL (CN) – Journalist Ian Halperin, who wrote a biography of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, claims Laliberté has defamed him and disparaged his book ever since it was published in June 2009. Halperin demands $500,000 for defamation in Quebec Superior Court.
Halperin claims that since he published his “unauthorized” biography, “Guy Laliberté: The Fabulous Story of the Creator of Cirque du Soleil,” Laliberté – who went from a young street performer to the billionaire CEO of Cirque du Soleil – has disparaged the book to media outlets.
While detailing Laliberté’s impressive business acumen, the book also included scenes of sex and drug-fueled decadent soirées in the early days of the circus, courtesy of Laliberté, where celebrities and world leaders were entertained by acrobats and performers.
Laliberté told The Canadian Press on June 16, 2009 that the book was “a piece of crap” filled with lies, and describes Halperin as a “scoundrel” and Halperin and his editors as “crooks.”
Canadian-born Halperin’s other biographies include “Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson,” “Celine Dion: Behind the Fairytale,” “Fire and Rain, and The Murder of Kurt Cobain.” Halperin claims this his attorneys sent Laliberté several letters demanding retractions, but as recently as May, while being interviewed on the Radio-Canada TV show “Tout le Monde en Parle,” Halperin says, he was “ridiculed throughout the entire interview” by Laliberté’s defamatory statements.
He claims that Laliberté’s remarks have had “devastating consequences” on his reputation, portraying him as a gossip writer rather than an investigative journalist.
Halperin is represented by Brouillette & Associes.