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Flack Lance Armstrong: Cyclist Gets Sued By PR Guy for Fraud
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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After faux Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong exposed himself on Oprah's show and admitted that he doped throughout his career, the first domino has already fallen...thanks to a PR guy? According to this story from CBS News

Piling onto Lance Armstrong's post-doping confession downfall, two California men [including PR exec Rob Stutzman] filed a class-action complaint in federal court in Sacramento, claiming the disgraced cycling star's memoirs, billed as non-fiction, were filled with lies, according to multiple reports.

The lawsuit states they — and others — would not have purchased the books "had they known the true facts concerning Armstrong's misconduct and his admitted involvement in a sports doping scandal." Armstrong and his publishers, Penguin and Random House, are accused of violating consumer protection laws on "false advertising and fraud by selling the books as works of non-fiction."

Come on. I'm not the only one having an 'LOL' moment, right? 

According to Reuters:

In the lawsuit over the books, Stutzman and Wheeler said they felt "duped," "cheated" and "betrayed" by the realization that the books, marketed as inspirational true-life memoirs, were replete with fabrications. 

What's great about this lawsuit is that it began as a prank. The Telegraph (UK) notes a couple of juicy details about this hubbub over Lance's books Every Second Counts and It's Not About the Bike. 

When Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey last week that he had cheated his way to seven Tour de France titles, there was a rumor from Australia that a library had recategorized Armstrong’s books and moved them to the fiction section.

That turned out to be a prank.

Art imitates life, eh? And speaking of which, here's juicy fact number two: 
A class action complaint has been filed in the US Federal court in California by a public relations executive called Rob Stutzman who, in another bizarre twist, was once former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s deputy chief of staff. 
A class action lawsuit based on a lie perpetrated to the public is co-submitted by a guy who served a man (and arguably knew about his transgressions) who was accused of a lie perpetrated to the public. Irony is rich, is it not?

   

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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