FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A former Navy SEAL disregarded advice from attorneys to submit his book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden to the federal government for clearance before it was published, the lawyers said in a court filing.
Matt Bissonnette who wrote the book “No Easy Day” in 2012 under the pseudonym Mark Owen, filed a lawsuit in November 2014 against attorney Kevin Podlaski and his former law firm, Carson Boxberger LLC firm of Fort Wayne, Indiana, alleging he was given bad advice.
Bissonnette, who is from Texas, contends in the lawsuit that he was advised he didn’t have to submit the book to the Department of Defense and other governmental agencies for a pre-publication review. The lawsuit was initially filed in New York, but was transferred to U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne last November at the request of his former lawyers.
The lawyers say in a court filing on Jan. 12 that Bissonnette purposely chose to release the book without a governmental review to try to maximize profits before competing books and movies were released. It also says Bissonnette misinformed them about his military status at the time he hired them, lied to them about when he started to write the book and lied to them about his signing of non-disclosure agreements and his retention of classified documents.
Bissonnette’s lawsuit against the lawyers says that he has agreed as part of a negotiated settlement to forfeit to the U.S. government the majority of all income he has received from the book along with future income, including all movie rights.
In the book, Bissonnette describes the raid in May, 2011, saying he was one of several SEAL members who shot the al-Qaida leader. He suggests the point man fired the fatal shots, and that he and a second SEAL shot bin Laden when he was already down. Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill has said he fired the shots that killed bin Laden.
The lawsuit contends that Bissonnette’s reputation has been tarnished because of the advice he received and he has lost a significant portion of the income he otherwise would have received following his retirement from the military through consulting jobs, speaking engagements and future employment.