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04/09/2013

News / Donald Trump temporarily withdraws ‘orangutan’ birth certificate lawsuit against Bill Maher

US real estate mogul Donald Trump has temporarily withdrawn his lawsuit against liberal comedian and HBO talk show host Bill Maher. The lawsuit, which accuses Maher of failing to follow through on his promise to pay $5 million to charities of Trump’s choice if he could prove that his father was not an orangutan, will be amended and refilled, Trump’s counsel Michael Cohen stated.

Records in Los Angeles Superior Court indicate that Trump requested the lawsuit be dismissed without prejudice two weeks ago, just eight weeks after he had filed it. Reuters reports.

The lawsuit stems from comments made by Maher during his appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno in January. Maher noted the similarity between Trump’s trademark orange hair and the fur of an orangutan, and then offered to pay $5 million to charities of Trump’s choice if he could prove that he was not a “spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”

On the next day, Trump’s lawyer sent his birth certificate, “demonstrating the he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan,” as stated in the note attached.

After John Maher failed to pay the $5 million he had promised to give away to the charities chosen by Trump – namely the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, Hurricane Sandy Victims, March of Dimes and the Police Athletic League – Trump filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract.

“As a consequence of Maher's disregard of his obligations, Mr. Trump has been injured by not receiving payment of the promised sum. In addition, the five worthy charities identified by Mr. Trump have been deprived of millions of dollars in donations, which they have not been able to utilize for the benefit of their constituents,” the lawsuit stated, as quoted by The Daily Mail.

Maher has so far not responded to the withdrawal of the lawsuit against him. A court is unlikely to interpret sardonic comments made during a late night show as legally binding contract terms, which is why Trump may need to modify his lawsuit or cancel it altogether.

The liberal comedian made his humorous proposal in response to Trump’s own offer to give away $5 million to charities if President Barack Obama released his college transcripts and passport records. In 2011, Trump boasted that his ‘birther’ skepticism prompted the president release his long-form birth certificate, proving that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii, and was therefore qualified to be president.

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