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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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