Monday, December 24, 2007

Chuck Norris says book is not 'Truth'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Trading karate chops for lawyers, tough guy actor Chuck Norris is taking on a new book titled "The Truth About Chuck Norris," saying it's a big lie and he wants to stop its distribution.

On Friday, Norris sued Penguin Group Inc. and the book's creator, Ian Spector, saying his good image is being spoiled by a book that depicts him as callous and unlawful and which he says includes false "facts" that are sometimes racist and lewd.

In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the actor, whose real name is Carlos Ray Norris, says the preface of the book refers to meetings between Norris and Spector, a Westbury, New York, resident and an undergraduate at Brown University, and the book also thanks Norris for "playing along."

But, the lawsuit said, Norris never authorized Penguin or its Gotham Books division to use his name, image or likeness in connection with commercial sales of the book, which was published on November 29.

The lawsuit said Norris told Penguin it was not authorized to publish the book but the publisher rejected Norris' claims. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, a halt to publication and a recall of books already sold.

A message left with a spokesman for Penguin was not immediately returned.

Norris has been in more than 20 films. The actor was a six-time undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate champion who in 1997 became the first man in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system, the lawsuit said.

The martial artist and actor has sued Penguin Group and author Ian Spector over the book The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World's Greatest Human, claiming the tome unfairly exploits his name. He is seeking to stop its distribution.

The book in question is based on a list of "mythical facts" compiled on the Internet that includes statements such as:

  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
  • Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
  • Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side, unless Chuck Norris has been there. In that case, the grass is most likely soaked in blood and tears.
  • On his birthday, Chuck Norris randomly selects one lucky child to be thrown into the sun.
  • If you Google search "Chuck Norris getting his ass kicked," you will generate zero results. It just doesn't happen.

A preface to the book, which was published Nov. 29, thanks Norris for "playing along." And indeed, a rep for Norris said last year he was aware of the tribute of sorts and found it to be "very flattering," while the man himself wrote on his blog that he "neither [took] offense nor [took] these things too seriously."

However, the tough-guy actor's goodwill apparently only extended to the list of so-called facts when they were contained in cyberspace. Now that they have evolved into book form, he's having a harder time getting the joke.

In his lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Norris claims he never authorized the use of his name, image or likeness in connection with the book.

Furthermore, he alleges that some of the "facts" wrongly portray him in a lewd or racist light or indicate that he engages in "illegal activities."

According to his court documents, Norris is seeking unspecified damages, a halt to publication and a recall of copies of the books already sold. Two Websites operated by Spector to promote the book, including, are also named in the suit.

Though Norris is apparently unwilling to have the "facts" about him published in book form, he's not opposed to having them used to endorse his political candidate of choice.

The actor recently appeared in a humorous campaign ad for Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, in which the two trade statements about each other back and forth.

"My plan to secure the border," says Huckabee..."two words: Chuck Norris."

"Mike Huckabee wants to put the IRS out of business," Norris says in response.

"Chuck Norris doesn't endorse, he tells America how it's gonna be," the presidential hopeful concludes.

Apparently, the truth about Chuck Norris is that when it comes to himself, he has a selective sense of humor.