01/24/2006 at 09:00 AM EST
Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he has filed a $5 billion lawsuit against Warner Books and New York Times reporter Timothy O'Brien for what the Apprentice star claims are defamatory statements in O'Brien's book TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, which was released last year.
In the suit, filed in state court in New Jersey, the real-estate developer, 59, alleges that O'Brien and Warner knowingly made egregiously false and malicious statements about Trump, his family, his personal life and his business dealings, including statements grossly misrepresenting Trump's net worth, according to a press release from Trump's lawyers.
At particular issue, according to the suit, are claims made by O'Brien that Trump "was not remotely close to being a billionaire," and that his "net worth was somewhere between $150 million and $250 million." The claims also appeared on the front page of the Sunday business section of The Times, the lawsuit complains.
The legal action seeks $2.5 billion in compensatory damages and $2.5 billion in punitive damages against O'Brien and Warner Books.
Commenting on the lawsuit, Trump said, in part: "Rather than sitting back and letting false statements be published without challenge, I believe it is important to expose irresponsible, malicious and false reporting. The writer and publisher of this book knew full well that their statements were false and malicious, but in hopes of generating book sales, they did not care. In so doing, they exposed themselves to this lawsuit."
Trump also tossed in the comment that TrumpNation is "terribly written."
There have been no comments from Warner Books or O'Brien on the suit.