Lance Armstrong targeted in lawsuit over books
Lance Armstrong lied for years about doping, and now some unsatisfied customers who bought his books want their money back.
A Republican political consultant in Sacramento, Rob Stutzman, and a professional chef, Jonathan Wheeler, are spearheading a class action lawsuit against Armstrong.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in federal court in California, said 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.”
In the books, Armstrong denied doping to win the Tour de France. But last week he confirmed years of allegations when he admitted to using banned substances in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Also named in the suit are several book publishers who produced Armstrong’s books, “It’s Not About the Bike” and “Every Second Counts.”
Stutzman and Wheeler are being represented by law firms in California and New Jersey, and Tuesday's court filing lays out their grievances.
“Stutzman bought the book in California and read it cover to cover,” the lawsuit said. “Although Stutzman does not buy or read many books, he found Armstrong’s book incredibly compelling and recommended the book to several friends.”
While working for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, Stutzman met Armstrong and told the cyclist how inspiring his book was. “In response, Armstrong thanked Stutzman,” the lawsuit said.
Wheeler, the professional chef, also lives in Sacramento County. An avid cyclist, he bought Armstrong’s book and was “so impressed . . . that he bought Armstrong’s follow-up book” as well.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Lance Armstrong listens during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired last week. Credit: AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns