August 24, 2007 / 1:18 AM / in 11 years

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner sued over book

Iranian attorney and Nobel Peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi speaks at a news conference for Mine Clearance Cooperation at the United Nations office in Tehran, Iran in this April 4, 2006 file photograph. Ebadi was sued by a co-author on August 23, 2007 for pulling out of an agreement to publish a new book. Ebadi had agreed to write "A Useful Enemy," with political analyst Shahir Shahidsaless, according to the lawsuit. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iran’s 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi was sued by a co-author on Thursday for pulling out of an agreement to publish a new book.

Ebadi, the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to win the peace prize, had agreed to write “A Useful Enemy,” with political analyst Shahir Shahidsaless, according to the lawsuit.

Shahidsaless sued her for $1.3 million in damages after Ebadi’s literary agent and her publisher, Random House, recommended that she pull out of the deal out of concern that it would damage future sales of her other books, according to the suit filed in federal court in Manhattan.

Shahidsaless had wasted 1-1/2 years working on the book because it would not sell without Ebadi’s famed reputation as a lawyer and rights activist, the lawsuit said.

The pair had several meetings and exchanged e-mails while working on the book, the lawsuit said.

Sally Marvin, a spokeswoman for Random House, said the company did not comment on lawsuits.

In May 2006 Random House published Ebadi’s autobiography “Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope,” which includes details of her disillusionment with Iran and was positively received in western countries.

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