DONALD Trump is suing comedian Bill Maher for $5 million (around £3.1 million) - after he failed to honour a bet relying on the New York-based entrepreneur proving that he is not the son of an orangutan.
Bill Maher told talkshow host Jay Leno in January that he would donate $5 million to charity if the ‘Apprentice’ star produced a birth certificate proving that he was not the son of the businessman’s mother and an orangutan, a long-running joke that appears to poke fun at Trump’s pursuit of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and similar promise of a charity donation.
Trump duly released a copy of his birth certificate, along with a letter from his lawyer stating: “Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan.”
Maher has neglected to pay the money so far, and Trump took the step of filing legal documents at the beginning of this week.
The mogul demands a trial by jury, and accuses the comedian of denying ‘five worthy charities’ much-needed funding, including a Hurricane Sandy relief organisation and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Speaking to the ‘Fox & Friends’ programme, Trump said: “He promised me $5 million for charity if I provided certain information. I provided the information. He didn’t pay. So today I sue Bill Maher for $5 million for charity.”
Trump dismissed the defence that Maher, one of America’s best-known comedians, was simply making a joke on Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’, because he found the comedian’s delivery ‘pathetic.’