California book buyers launch class action for fraud over Lance Armstrong's autobiography

Lawsuit says if buyers had known work based on lies, they wouldn't have bought it... or if they did, they'd have enjoyed it less

by Simon_MacMichael   January 24, 2013  

It's Not About The Bike

A class action lawsuit has been launched in California by people who purchased Lance Armstrong’s best selling autobiography, It’s Not About The Bike, co-written with Sally Jenkins. The action also mentions its sequel, Every Second Counts.

One of the people bringing the action is Sacramento resident Rob Stutzman, a former deputy chief of staff for ex-Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, reports CNN. Joining himp is a chef, Jonathan Wheeler.

The lawsuit which has been filed in a federal court in the state this week alleges that the disgraced cyclist and his publishers engaged in fraud and false advertising.

"Throughout the book, Defendant Armstrong repeatedly denies that he ever used banned substances before or during his professional cycling career," it says.

Stutzman and Wheeler, it continues, purchased Armstrong’s books "based upon the false belief that they were true and honest works of nonfiction when, in fact, Defendants knew or should have known that these books were works of fiction."

There is no mention in the lawsuit of exactly how much compensation the pair are seeking, although it does seek “any statutorily permissible damages, attorneys' fees, expenses and costs."

According to the papers filed with the court, Stutzman, who says he was inspired by the tale of the cancer survivor who conquered the Tour de France, even met Armstrong on one occasion.

"At that time, Stutzman thanked Defendant Armstrong for writing his book and told him it was very inspiring and that he recommended it to friends who were fighting cancer. In response, Armstrong thanked Stutzman."

Stutzman and Wheeler claim in their lawsuit that had they known that It’s Not About The Bike was based on falsehoods, they wouldn’t have purchased it – or, at least, they would have got less enjoyment from reading it.”

The book currently has a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.co.uk, although some of the recent reviews are less than flattering.

One, made last October by Graham Pierce, awards it 1 star under the heading: “It's not about the bike....it's about the EPO, cortisone, actovegin, testosterone and blood doping.”

He concludes his review: “Mind you, it's a groundbreaking employment of the unreliable narrator in a biography.”
 

21 user comments

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I once thought about thinking that I might want to think about buying that book. I demand my day in court and some money from him......Just another PR stunt.

The best review on Amazon so far has to be this

A truly remarkable debut novel by someone whose previous background would not have suggested such talent. It is humbling to think of him sat up all night creating this fantastic tale for us all as he waited for the drugs to wear off so he might sleep............. It really isn't about the bike is it Lance?.

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posted by Gkam84 [8634 posts]
24th January 2013 - 21:35

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I'm all for kicking Armstrong while he is down (at least for as long as he holds back from telling the whole story, and until he makes good the damage he has done to those who told the truth.) But surely the claimants would only have a case if they can prove that "It’s Not About The Bike" was actually about a bike?

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
24th January 2013 - 22:01

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Taking the hero and his bikel. Now it turns out the hero is fake, the bike should be the hero! Coming to think about it, maybe the bike was fake as well. Maybe it wasn't a Trek after all. A Lightspeed as an Eddy Merckx (Ref. Bike!, p. 175), maybe a LeMond as a Trek? Big Grin

My "favourite" book : The Playboy Interviews.

http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/09/book-review-playboy-issue.html

Bought this book with high hopes Love Struck instead I got LA, O.J.Simpson and others Broken Heart and not a single picture. I also want my money back.

posted by Dr. Ko [109 posts]
24th January 2013 - 22:28

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I've a copy of the book. How do I get my money back?

posted by a.jumper [677 posts]
24th January 2013 - 23:10

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Not sure this has any merit TBH. I've never been an Armstrong fan, always suspected he (and 'most everyone else) was doping but still the vitriol is starting to get a bit weird now. Lets put the pitchforks away and move on to better things.

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posted by Ghedebrav [988 posts]
24th January 2013 - 23:32

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I decided that Lance was a wrong 'un from reading this book Cool I will keep my copy... the c**t can keep the money Devil

posted by SideBurn [762 posts]
24th January 2013 - 23:49

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You'd think, with all that sunshine in California, they'd get out more?

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posted by Wooliferkins [47 posts]
25th January 2013 - 11:15

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As I read this, both those books are on the floor right behind me supporting the fan at an angle in front of my turbo trainer, I can remember thinking what a nasty prick this guy is, when I read them, it's all very sad, he would have been a great rider without the cheating and bullying, but he "did it his way"

onward ever onward

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posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
25th January 2013 - 11:28

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If as and when cycling racing is clean, someone is going to write a book about this whole sorry period and could quite rightly call it "Its Not About the Bike". The authors biggest problem would be working out exactly when in cycle racings history to begin his/her work. Armstrong is the icing on the cake and hopefully the curtain closer too.

Ah, but that was then

posted by Pitstone Peddler [104 posts]
25th January 2013 - 11:49

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I'm off down the small claims court see if I can get my money back

posted by Roberj4 [180 posts]
25th January 2013 - 12:24

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It does make you think lying was just a daily routine for LA...mind you give me $100mill and Id prob tell a few porkies...

posted by NeilXDavis [111 posts]
25th January 2013 - 13:42

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Now thats funny man. Big Grin

-Turning Cranks since 1962

posted by kevinscruggs [8 posts]
25th January 2013 - 13:53

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SideBurn wrote:
I decided that Lance was a wrong 'un from reading this book Cool I will keep my copy... the c**t can keep the money Devil

I couldn't agree more. Even with the help of a ghostwriter he still comes across as a borderline psychotic.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
25th January 2013 - 14:46

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Errrm, how much will the plaintifs get back if they win - a fiver.

Personally I liked the spoof sign that appeared in an Australian library recently stating that they'd moved all the LA books from non-fiction to the fiction section: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21115720

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

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posted by badback [264 posts]
25th January 2013 - 14:55

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I am pleased that others thought the same as me (bikecellar & The Rumpo Kid) most people I talk to say the book was great, inspirational etc. I thought c**t. I am not even sure why! I can accept that you have to be hard, committed, single minded, selfish even to succeed in a sport like cycling and this means you will upset people but Thinking I will probably read it again, and enjoy it more knowing he is a cheat Thinking Does that mean I have to pay more money Surprise

posted by SideBurn [762 posts]
25th January 2013 - 16:56

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I wonder how many copies Amazon have got to shift ?

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

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posted by badback [264 posts]
25th January 2013 - 20:15

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I agree that when I read it I thought that he wasn't a particularly likeable character. I don't think he ever painted himself as one. I wonder how many of them are given how single minded you have to be to compete at that level. I remember watching those programmes with James Cracknell going to the pole and thinking the same about him. To be the sort of person who competes at that level, drugs or no drugs, you have to be prepared to make it more important than everything else it seems. Most people aren't prepared to do that.

posted by Jerm [39 posts]
25th January 2013 - 22:21

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LOUSE Armstrong!!!

Enuff said!!

I gave my books to Oxfam - though they are unlikely to shift em, ever - I put the DVDs in the trash.

The guy is a complete and utter shite bag.

Everything he has ever done should be expunged from the records and he should be forgotten, completely, as the biggest sporting fraud ever - which is exactly what he is.

Maybe him and that stupid tw*t Phil Liggett should start a Save The Louse fund????

Good company for each other - one's a complete idiot, the other's a hopeless liar.

posted by comm88 [72 posts]
26th January 2013 - 0:38

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So after two tv shows are we really any nearer to knowing the truth?
Ok, he doped but there is a lot he didn't say.
If the movie happens what story are they going to tell?
Possibly a poison chalice to the actor who plays him. Who would want to see it? Could be a massive flop.

As easy as falling off a ....

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posted by Percespb [20 posts]
26th January 2013 - 0:53

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SideBurn wrote:
I am pleased that others thought the same as me (bikecellar & The Rumpo Kid) most people I talk to say the book was great, inspirational etc. I thought c**t. I am not even sure why! I can accept that you have to be hard, committed, single minded, selfish even to succeed in a sport like cycling and this means you will upset people but Thinking I will probably read it again, and enjoy it more knowing he is a cheat Thinking Does that mean I have to pay more money Surprise

Sideburns - You'll find copies at the library, I'm sure

As easy as falling off a ....

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posted by Percespb [20 posts]
26th January 2013 - 1:02

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Lance Armstrong has lied to us so much,
I'm starting to doubt whether he ever
landed on the moon at all... Party

BCC

posted by BearstedCC [46 posts]
28th January 2013 - 10:59

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