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Helmut Kohl seeking millions in damages in lawsuit over 'damaging' book

The former chancellor is reportedly seeking 5 million euros in the long-running lawsuit. The book, and the case, stem from a falling-out the chancellor had with the co-author, formerly his sanctioned biographer.

Helmut Kohl is seeking 5 million euros ($5.3 million) in damages in the lawsuit over the publication of his recent ghostwritten memoir, according to German news magazine "Der Spiegel."

The book, titled "Legacy: The Kohl Protocol," was co-written by the chancellor's former ghostwriter, Heribert Schwan. It contains interviews with Kohl conducted by the journalist over the course of 10 years - including some comments Kohl considers damaging to other politicians and acquaintances.

The city of Cologne's main court in May declared those quotes illegal, and the first edition of the book was pulled from the shelves.

Now, Spiegel reports that Kohl's lawyers are demanding at least 5 million euros ($5.3 million) in damages from Schwan and Tilman Jens, his co-author, as well as the book's publisher, Random House.

Schwan, a long-time friend of the former chancellor, published three volumes of his memoirs over the past several years, but before the fourth and final volume was published, the two had a falling-out. Schwan subsequently co-wrote "Legacy," using the material earmarked for the final volume, spurring the current controversy.

blc/msh (dpa)

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