RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - The ex-husband of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Danielle Staub claims Simon & Schuster defamed him in a biography about his ex. Kevin Maher claims the book, "The Naked Truth," falsely reports that he had "beaten the hell out of" Staub, "like a crazed animal," and that he went to jail for a year and a half.
Maher sued Simon & Schuster and the author, Steven Prigge, in Riverside County Court. He claims that pages 141-145 of the book mention "untrue criminal acts attributable to the plaintiff". Maher did not sue his ex-wife.
These include the statements that Maher had "'come on like a crazed animal and exhaust [sic] himself by beating the hell out of' Danielle Staub; ... that Staub "was taken to the nearest Pennsylvania hospital as a result of this alleged incident, where she 'spent a couple of days recovering from a concussion and assorted contusions;'" that Staub had secured a restraining order against Maher; and that Maher "was in a Pennsylvania jail for 18 months for admitting to a crime against Danielle Staub," according to the complaint.
Maher claims that he and his attorney warned the publisher on Feb. 1 this year, before the book was published, that he would sue if the company published "any falsehoods written by Ms. Staub" (sic).
Staub is not named as a defendant.
In June, after the book was published, Maher says his attorney "warned defendant Simon & Schuster of misstatements contained within the subject book, especially as it relates to Mr. Maher admitting to criminal activity relative to Danielle Staub and that he was incarcerated for a period of 18 months as a consequence of such admission." But he says the publisher refused to cease and desist in publication.
Maher demands punitive damages for defamation. He is represented by Thomas Rockett III of Brea.
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