NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner and cabinet nominee who later went to prison for tax evasion and lying to White House officials, was sued on Wednesday by a woman who claimed she helped him write his recent memoir and was not credited or paid for it.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Dara DAddio said she spent 2,700 hours over three years working with her “former close friend” Kerik on “From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey from Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054,” which describes Kerik’s fall from grace and views on the justice system.
DAddio said she helped write, edit and conduct research for the book, mainly while Kerik was in prison, and that the book contains some of her own language.
The Clifton Park, New York resident said she deserves a half-interest in the book’s copyright, her share of royalties, and $25 to $40 per hour for her work. Her complaint includes many exhibits of her alleged communications to and from Kerik.
Simon & Schuster, which published “From Jailer to Jailed” in March, is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
Timothy Parlatore, a lawyer for Kerik, said in an email that DAddio was among several people who voluntarily helped Kerik during and after his three-year imprisonment, but has for nearly two years harassed and threatened him online.
“We intend to file counter claims and seek sanctions for her knowingly frivolous lawsuit,” Parlatore said.
Autondria Minor, a lawyer for DAddio, did not respond to requests for comment. A Simon & Schuster spokesman declined to comment.
Kerik., an ally of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and a leader in the city’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, saw his career unravel when he tried to conceal apartment renovations paid for by a contractor that the city had blacklisted because of suspected ties to organized crime.
Kerik was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to hiding the renovations from the Internal Revenue Service, and lying to White House officials while being vetted to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. He was freed in May 2013.
The case is DAddio v Kerik, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-05497.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Rigby and Steve Orlofsky