Trump "suing Maher for charity"

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Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Monday in California against liberal comic Bill Maher, suing him for $5 million after Trump says Maher did not follow through on a $5 million public bet he made on "The Tonight Show."

"I don't know whether this case will be won or lost, but I felt a major obligation to bring it on behalf of the charities," Trump said in a public statement first obtained by POLITICO.

Last month, Maher said on NBC to Jay Leno that he would pay $5 million to Trump's charity of choice if he provided a birth certificate proving that he's not "spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan." It was similar to an offer Trump made to President Barack Obama during the presidential campaign season, in which Trump wanted Obama to release his college records.

Trump's statement continued: "Bill Maher made an unconditional offer while offer while on The Jay Leno Show and I, without hesitation, accepted his offer and provided him with the appropriate documentation. Prior demands for payment went ignored by Mr. Maher despite the fact that the beneficiaries of this suit will ultimately be the charities [...] who would share equally the $5 million - something I am certain they can desperately use."

Trump said he wants to donate the money to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Hurricane Sandy Victims, March of Dimes and the Police Athletic League.

He first announced his suit on Fox News earlier Monday morning.

"He promised me $5 million for charity if I provided certain information," Trump said Monday on Fox News's "Fox & Friends." "Well I provided the information. He didn't pay. So today I sue Bill Maher for $5 million for charity."

"[Maher] made me an offer. I accepted the offer immediately, and he didn't come through with the $5 million," Trump said on Fox News.

Trump's attorney Scott S. Balber released a letter following Maher's comments and attached a copy of Trump's birth certificate.

"Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump's birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan," Balber wrote in the letter.

But wasn't Maher just kidding?

"I don't think he was joking. He said it with venom. That was venom. That wasn't a joke. In fact, he was nervous when he said it. It was a pathetic delivery," Trump said on Fox News.
Following his appearance, Trump tweeted:

.@BillMaher didn't come through with his promised $5 million for charity so today I will sue him

I don't know whether I will win or lose the @billmaher lawsuit but had an obligation to sue for charity.

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/donald-trump-to-sue-bill-maher-after-bet-feud-87125.html?hp=r1
http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/trump-maher-birth-certificate-bet/2013/02/04/id/488750
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/02/04/donald-trump-sues-bill-maher-5-million

For further context, here's Maher's comment:

And here's Trump's announcement of his intent to sue on Fox:

Honestly, I'm a bit dumbfounded by the act and fully expect the charge to get thrown out if it ever makes it to court, but all the same I'm curious about whether Trump will actually try to follow up on it or if it's going to peter out like his "I'm going to run for president" bit.

Edit: The clip referrred to in the first video can be seen here:

Trump, back to milking other's celebrity as he is pushed out of the limelight. Oh Donald you provide us with so much entertainment, ps please actually run for president next time.

Edit: Also I think it would be hilarious if Bill Maher to pay it or was forced to... and Trump donated it straight to the heritage foundation. I think Maher would probably die of a heart attack right after hearing about that.

Well, Trump just isn't aging gracefully. For how he's supposed to personify a successful person, he seems to be pretty insecure to me, constantly trying to force his way into the limelight lest he be forgotten, he fears. But that's just me; as for the case on hand, well, what can I say, going back on your word is a dick move, Bill, but Donald, unless he actually signed something, he has no legal obligation to go through with it.

Now take your toys and go home, you two.

Either way this goes well. Trump wins and suddenly comedians get a new perspective, plus he can donate the money to charity, or if he loses, we can see another one of his memorable moments. Still, the man drives his brand name to the ground. Bad move , you get paid for people using that name, and you've tarnished it a lot recently.

Maher bluffed, Trump called it and now Maher is trying to flee from his bet. Despite my hatred towards Trump i actually support him in this case.

Now whether a court will take it seriously is different. Despite the fact technically verbal agreements are just as binding as written ones. Whether such a bet on TV can count as an agreement/contract though is a totally different question.

I don't see how Trump has any traction, here. Maher didn't sign anything, as far as I know so he doesn't have any legal obligation to do it.

In my opinion, no matter what happens this is still going to make Trump look bad. If he wins he just bullied $5 million out of another man because he couldn't take a joke, if he loses it just proves how much of an idiot he was to pursue the matter in the first place. Maybe it was a bit asshole-ish of Maher to bring a charity into it, but that's exactly what Trump is trying to do. Make you forget how stupid it is by playing the "Oh it's for the CHARITY!" card.

I can see how trump took him seriously. Bill maher has never said anything funny in his whole life.

I don't exactly care for Mr. Trump, but in this case I like what hes doing.

Lilani:
I don't see how Trump has any traction, here. Maher didn't sign anything, as far as I know so he doesn't have any legal obligation to do it.

In my opinion, no matter what happens this is still going to make Trump look bad. If he wins he just bullied $5 million out of another man because he couldn't take a joke, if he loses it just proves how much of an idiot he was to pursue the matter in the first place. Maybe it was a bit asshole-ish of Maher to bring a charity into it, but that's exactly what Trump is trying to do. Make you forget how stupid it is by playing the "Oh it's for the CHARITY!" card.

You do know that a verbal agreement is just as valid as a signed one right?

Glasgow:
Either way this goes well. Trump wins and suddenly comedians get a new perspective, plus he can donate the money to charity, or if he loses, we can see another one of his memorable moments. Still, the man drives his brand name to the ground. Bad move , you get paid for people using that name, and you've tarnished it a lot recently.

I'm not sure that the former's really 'ending well'. A condition of 'proving you weren't the scion of an orangutan' is, by most definitions, not a condition a reasonable person would take seriously due to how ridiculous the notion itself is. And my understanding is that the expected understanding of 'a reasonable person' is a core aspect of contract law, meaning that a ruling in Trump's favor here could really set some horrible precidents.

Brings to mind when Jack Thomson promised to donate 10.000 USD to a charity if anyone created a specific gruesome game called Murder Simulator, and then backed out of doing it because he said it was 'a joke'. Which is fair enough, but then he sued Penny Arcade because they donated the money instead along with the phrase written on the check 'For Jack Thomson, for Jack Thomson Won't".

Verbatim:

Lilani:
I don't see how Trump has any traction, here. Maher didn't sign anything, as far as I know so he doesn't have any legal obligation to do it.

In my opinion, no matter what happens this is still going to make Trump look bad. If he wins he just bullied $5 million out of another man because he couldn't take a joke, if he loses it just proves how much of an idiot he was to pursue the matter in the first place. Maybe it was a bit asshole-ish of Maher to bring a charity into it, but that's exactly what Trump is trying to do. Make you forget how stupid it is by playing the "Oh it's for the CHARITY!" card.

You do know that a verbal agreement is just as valid as a signed one right?

It is questionable that if one man says one thing on television without the other partner present it is to be taken as a 'verbal agreement'. If so, all Politicians who claim things come election should be held legally bound to these claims, as they say it out loud on TV, while addressing the nation.

Realitycrash:

Verbatim:

Lilani:
I don't see how Trump has any traction, here. Maher didn't sign anything, as far as I know so he doesn't have any legal obligation to do it.

In my opinion, no matter what happens this is still going to make Trump look bad. If he wins he just bullied $5 million out of another man because he couldn't take a joke, if he loses it just proves how much of an idiot he was to pursue the matter in the first place. Maybe it was a bit asshole-ish of Maher to bring a charity into it, but that's exactly what Trump is trying to do. Make you forget how stupid it is by playing the "Oh it's for the CHARITY!" card.

You do know that a verbal agreement is just as valid as a signed one right?

It is questionable that if one man says one thing on television without the other partner present it is to be taken as a 'verbal agreement'. If so, all Politicians who claim things come election should be held legally bound to these claims, as they say it out loud on TV, while addressing the nation.

The problem is that you can't have a legal contract with a "nation", but you can have it with a person...

Verbatim:

Realitycrash:

Verbatim:

You do know that a verbal agreement is just as valid as a signed one right?

It is questionable that if one man says one thing on television without the other partner present it is to be taken as a 'verbal agreement'. If so, all Politicians who claim things come election should be held legally bound to these claims, as they say it out loud on TV, while addressing the nation.

The problem is that you can't have a legal contract with a "nation", but you can have it with a person...

Fine. When addressing 'every person living within the US border'. You can have a legal contract with as many people at the same time as you want.

Realitycrash:

Verbatim:

Realitycrash:

It is questionable that if one man says one thing on television without the other partner present it is to be taken as a 'verbal agreement'. If so, all Politicians who claim things come election should be held legally bound to these claims, as they say it out loud on TV, while addressing the nation.

The problem is that you can't have a legal contract with a "nation", but you can have it with a person...

Fine. When addressing 'every person living within the US border'. You can have a legal contract with as many people at the same time as you want.

No you can't unless you specified their individual identities in a sufficient manner...

Verbatim:

Realitycrash:

Verbatim:

The problem is that you can't have a legal contract with a "nation", but you can have it with a person...

Fine. When addressing 'every person living within the US border'. You can have a legal contract with as many people at the same time as you want.

No you can't unless you specified their individual identities in a sufficient manner...

I call bull on that. If I can have a 'legally binding contract' by calling out one specific person, and said person does not even respond (because, you know, they aren't there), then I can have a legally binding contract by summing up 300 million people as 'a nation' instead of listing 300 million people by name.
All and all, both ideas are preposterous.

Realitycrash:

Verbatim:

Realitycrash:

Fine. When addressing 'every person living within the US border'. You can have a legal contract with as many people at the same time as you want.

No you can't unless you specified their individual identities in a sufficient manner...

I call bull on that. If I can have a 'legally binding contract' by calling out one specific person, and said person does not even respond (because, you know, they aren't there), then I can have a legally binding contract by summing up 300 million people as 'a nation' instead of listing 300 million people by name.
All and all, both ideas are preposterous.

A contract requires at least 2 legally identifiable parties, a nation is not a legally identifiable party by any stretch of the imagination.. sorry call all the bull you wan't but oral contracts are equal to verbal ones if they are done correctly.

I'd love to see expert testimony showing the birth certificate is real and Trump is actually of human origin. "Your honor, let the record show that DNA tests confirm that my client is indeed not an orangutan." I might never be wealthy, but I'm certain I'll never be on national television happily claiming both my parents are human.

Realitycrash:

Verbatim:

Lilani:
I don't see how Trump has any traction, here. Maher didn't sign anything, as far as I know so he doesn't have any legal obligation to do it.

In my opinion, no matter what happens this is still going to make Trump look bad. If he wins he just bullied $5 million out of another man because he couldn't take a joke, if he loses it just proves how much of an idiot he was to pursue the matter in the first place. Maybe it was a bit asshole-ish of Maher to bring a charity into it, but that's exactly what Trump is trying to do. Make you forget how stupid it is by playing the "Oh it's for the CHARITY!" card.

You do know that a verbal agreement is just as valid as a signed one right?

It is questionable that if one man says one thing on television without the other partner present it is to be taken as a 'verbal agreement'. If so, all Politicians who claim things come election should be held legally bound to these claims, as they say it out loud on TV, while addressing the nation.

If I could take a class action suit against Nick Clegg, I would squeeze the bugger until I had enough money to pay 9 grand a year in uni fees for everyone in the country.

Verbatim:

A contract requires at least 2 legally identifiable parties, a nation is not a legally identifiable party by any stretch of the imagination.. sorry call all the bull you wan't but oral contracts are equal to verbal ones if they are done correctly.

Exactly, certain conditions must be met. Whether or not they were met in this case, I'll be frank, I don't know and I don't care. But a promise and a legally binding verbal contract are different things. And, by the way, a country is a legally identifiable party. Okay, a nation, that's muddy.

Much as it pains me to side with Trump, sorry Mahr, you called a bluff that you shouldn't have called. The more you welch on the bet, the worse you look, regardless of the legal shakiness.

Verbatim:

Lilani:
I don't see how Trump has any traction, here. Maher didn't sign anything, as far as I know so he doesn't have any legal obligation to do it.

In my opinion, no matter what happens this is still going to make Trump look bad. If he wins he just bullied $5 million out of another man because he couldn't take a joke, if he loses it just proves how much of an idiot he was to pursue the matter in the first place. Maybe it was a bit asshole-ish of Maher to bring a charity into it, but that's exactly what Trump is trying to do. Make you forget how stupid it is by playing the "Oh it's for the CHARITY!" card.

You do know that a verbal agreement is just as valid as a signed one right?

Yes, no, and maybe.

Yes, a verbal contract can be as valid as a signed one.

No, not all verbal contracts are valid. A statute of frauds requires a written contract in many exchanges, including certain exchanges exceeding $500 (generally, may vary by jurisdiction), although it mainly refers to sales and long term contracts.

Maybe he could be held to it. It is unclear if performance of an action would qualify as an exchange falling under the statute. However, barring a written contract, it would be up to Trump to convince a judge (judges, not juries, determine matters relating to the existence and interpretation of contracts as they are matters of law) that a contract existed and was not covered by the California statute of frauds (California Commercial Code 2201). However, given the sheer amount of money at issue, the petty service being offered in consideration, the nature of the parties (one is a businessman with a history of dirty contract dealings and the other is a premium cable comedian and talk show host) and the nature of the environment (a comedic late night talk show), it would be difficult to side with Trump on this from a legal standpoint.

Verbatim:

The problem is that you can't have a legal contract with a "nation", but you can have it with a person...

But can you have a legal contract with a person who was not present and had no guarantee of ever hearing the proposal, when surrounding context[1][2] casts doubt on the seriousness of the offer? Given all the relevant data, would a reasonable person be expected to interpret this as a serious and binding agreement? That, I think is the real question to be had.

[1] Maher's role as a satirist, the nature of the conditions, the suggested charities of "hair club for men" and the "institute for incorrigible douchebaggery", the apparent comic intent of the conversation in which the statement took place and which is expected of banter on that program, the way it played off of Trump's 'college transcript offer' in a similar manner to other comics, the way the speaker started laughing as he said it...
[2] More concretely, the comment Trump is allegedly suing Maher for was itself immediately identified in the exchange with Leno as stemming from a joke Maher had made on his own show(itself a parody of Trump's demands for Obama's birth certificate), which he'd identified in this conversation as the source of much of the bad blood between him and Trump.

Trump misses the point that most of Maher's jokes are intended to be as vile as funny. Birtherism is a bad enough joke, but the fact Trump followed through on it made things something to get mad about. Trump spent a lot of time and money that could have gone to any of those worthy causes chasing the conspiracy theory that Obama could be kicked out on a technacality. All the money spent of private investigative teams in hawaii and press conferences to give Trump screen time could have gone to cancer research or whatever, but it was more important to play to the paranoid to push Trump's presidential bid. So while he tries to make it funny, it's hard not to hide the anger that any and all real political issues took a backseat to the idea that we might not have done a proper background check on the guy we give the launch codes to, and that proof when provided was still dismissed as fraudulant.

I don't know if it'll hold, but I bet Maher could work it. Just point out the farce of a rich guy using the legal system to get revenge on someone saying something mean about him.

Can't sue someone over something like that, Trump should know that. Much like you can't sue the republicans who said they'd emigrate if Obama won but didn't, you can't sue them to force them to leave the US after they said that either. And heck, even Fox News made fun of those. Then you know it's seriously wrong on the US ultra-right, if even Fox News makes critical comments.

This is really one of those cases where you need to hold the accuser in contempt for wasting tax payer's money and the time of the court, and just lock him up for a day because fining him won't make him learn.

Maher said "I'm willing to pay yada yada" not "I promise I will pay yada yada" I'M WILLING does not mean the same as I WILL DO.

So we're gonna take something said in jest, pretend it's all spr srs bzns, and call Maher a squelcher for reneging on his "so totally not a joke, guise. Seriouly >:(" bet? Yeah...how bout we don't, call it the shitty joke it was, and go back to forgetting Donald Trump exists?

The hair piece is such a font of comedy gold. I look forward to Real time next week to see the reaction.

Maher's a Comedian. He was telling a joke. I don't know if Trump is actually going to go through with this because it's by all accounts a pointless case and republicans are supposed to be in favor of tort reform. Then again, he never had any credibility to lose.

Did anyone actually bother to take into consideration that it is impossible for humans and orangutans to procreate? Maher is a professional comedian. Trump is making a fool of himself again. Something like this would get tossed out of court in a matter of minutes.

Trump has made a career of suing other people and corporations, but he doesn't have an inch of ground to stand on here. He's just demonstrating that he can dish it out but can't take it.

Trump was pushing a racist, xenophobic, conspiracy theory and Maher made a joke about it.

Far as I can figure Trump should just leave the public eye, for good.
He's a failure who's only wealthy because of slimy deals and daddy's money.

The Pumpkin Witch:
Did anyone actually bother to take into consideration that it is impossible for humans and orangutans to procreate? Maher is a professional comedian. Trump is making a fool of himself again. Something like this would get tossed out of court in a matter of minutes.

The sad thing with humour like that is that people can take you seriously and think you're an idiot for it. I say things that are obviously stupid a lot and people think I'm serious more often than not. (A crude example would be, if I was with someone and saw a window cleaner climbing a ladder, y'know, to clean windows. The person I'm with might say "I wonder what that guy is doing." to which I might come out with "Obviously trying to rob the place". I'd say it deadpan). Not the best example, but I'm tired and it's all I could think of.

Anyway, OT, it's obvious that Trump is doing this just to get revenge on Maher guy for slinging all that shit at him. He even said himself that he isn't sure whether he could win it or not. From things I've heard on the internet, I wouldn't be surprised if he did win it.

You should remember that Trump was a man who pushed the Obama "birther" conspiracies. Maher is just a comedian who's making fun of what Trump did during his bid for presidency.

Verbatim:
/snip

I remember that Trump made a bet with Obama that ran along these lines. If Obama released his birth certificate, he would release his tax records.

Obama showed the form proving he was born in Hawaii, but as a yet Trump hasn't released his tax records.

This "lawsuit" is idiotic either way.

this is seriously not on.

Orangutans have waaaay better hair than trump!

ClockworkPenguin:

If I could take a class action suit against Nick Clegg, I would squeeze the bugger until I had enough money to pay 9 grand a year in uni fees for everyone in the country.

Nick Clegg and the Liberal democrats didn't win the majority and thanks to the electoral system had far lower number of seats despite the proportion of votes plus Labour suck.

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