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Harrods department store magnate Mohamed Al Fayed wants long-ago teen idol Paul Anka's autobiography My Way pulled off the shelves, and is seeking punitive damages from the Lonely Boy crooner, Courthouse News Service reports.
The billionaire's decision to drop Anka, so to speak, has taken the form of a multiple count complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court, including claims alleging defamation, false light invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Al Fayed alleges My Way co-authors Anka and David Dalton, along with defendants St. Martin's Press, MacMillan Publishers, Holtzbrink Publishers, the Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers and DMG Media, harmed him by portraying his late son, Dodi Al Fayed, as a cocaine-abusing, womanizing deadbeat who welched on a loan from Anka.
Dodi Al Fayed died in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997, along with Diana, Princess of Wales. Condemning My Way as sensationalized, the plaintiff's complaint accuses Anka of trading on Dodi Al Fayed's name and the public's fascination and love affair with Princess Diana to boost sales of his book. The complaint claims Anka wrote that he lent Dodi $150,000 after U.S. Customs Agents allegedly seized money Dodi purportedly tried to smuggle into the States. The complaint alleges that Mohamed Al Fayed covered the sum that Dodi failed to repay, which the book purportedly portrays as "hush money" paid to Anka when he called the plaintiff and allegedly threatened to go to the police.
My Way was serialized last March, excerpts of which appeared in The Daily Mail newspaper in the U.K. Generally speaking, the dead can't be libeled, so Mohamed claims My Way harms his reputation by falsely suggesting he was "in agreement with Anka's outrageous assessment of Dodi's purported poor character as a criminal, womanizing, drug-using deadbeat who lived beyond his means and who had to have 'Daddy' come to his rescue, even to the extent of an alleged willingness to pay 'hush money.'"
Don't expect to hear Put Your Head on My Shoulders or Having My Baby piped into Harrods' elevators anytime soon.