By Tim Kenneally | Reuters
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Donald Trump is apparently in a suing mood lately.
Not only has Trump filed suit against comedian Bill Maher after Maher jokingly suggested that Trump was spawned from sex between a human and an orangutan, the "Apprentice" host/media fixture is threatening to sue the organizer of a boycott asking that Macy's sever its ties with Trump.
Trump's attorney, Alan Garten, has sent a letter to Angelo Carusone, who launched an online petition urging Macy's to drop Trump, saying that Trump will sue Carusone for damages "not less than $25,000,000" if he continues his campaign.
"While you claim to be merely exercising or right to free speech, your egregious, pre-meditated and illegal conduct far exceeds anything protected by the Constitution," the letter, dated December 27, reads. "Rather than simply engage in lawful protest, you have apparently made it your mission to interfere with and intentionally disrupt Mr. Trump's longstanding and well-established business relationship with Macy's as well as his contractual dealings with other third parties through mob-like bullying and coercion."
The letter goes on to accuse Carusone of intentionally disseminating misinformation about the extent of his support, calling Carusone's public backing as "marginal at best."
Carusone launched his petition, which has so far gathered more than 683,000 signatures, last year on SignOn.org. The petition urges Macy's Chairman, CEO and President Terry J. Lundgren to stop selling Trump's fragrance and clothing lines at Macy's stores, because of what the petition calls "especially unpleasant, nasty and despicable behavior." According to the petition, that would include "sexist behavior" and the perpetuation of the "birther theory" that President Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States.
"Donald Trump does not reflect the 'magic of Macy's.'" the petition reads. "We urge you to sever ties with him. Carusone is unfazed by the legal threat.
"Donald Trump's attempt to silence me will not work. I've dealt with enough bullies and know better than to succumb to intimidation," Carusone said in a statement. "By threatening me, Trump is only reinforcing the point that we've been trying to get Macy's to recognize: that Trump's brand is consequence-free bullying and chicanery; it shouldn't be rewarded."
Carusone's attorney, Paul Levy of Public Citizen, responded to Garten's letter with his own correspondence in January.
"Your letter repeatedly asserts, without any factual basis, that Carusone has exaggerated the extent to which members of the public have endorsed his boycott effort; you also contend, again without being specific, that Carusone casts Trump in a false light," Levy's letter reads.
"Your letter repeatedly asserts, without any factual basis, that Carusone has exaggerated the extent to which members of the public have endorsed his boycott effort; you also contend, again without being specific, that Carusone casts Trump in a false light," the letter reads.
"There is a well-established First Amendment right to advocate a boycott over policy-related objections ... I have no reason to believe that there is a tort of exaggerating the public support for a political campaign," Levy continues. "If there were such a tort, I imagine that most candidates for public office, no doubt including your client, would be liable at one point or another."
Garten told TheWrap on Tuesday that there is currently no lawsuit filed on the matter.
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