Donald Trump Withdraws Bill Maher Lawsuit

Donald Trump Bill Maher Split - H 2013
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Donald Trump Bill Maher Split - H 2013

Donald Trump has voluntarily dismissed his $5 million lawsuit against Bill Maher for failing to live up to an "unconditional offer" made on NBC's Tonight Show to donate $5 million to charity if Trump provided a copy of his birth certificate proving that he’s not “spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan.”

Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Trump, is playing down the move, saying “the lawsuit was temporarily withdrawn to be amended and refiled at a later date.”

Here's our take on why Donald Trump was likely to lose the lawsuit. If it ever gets before a judge, a judge might have to examine whether there was an objective basis for understanding what Maher had to say to be anything more than a joke.

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The analysis was echoed by others including Dan Nabel at Greenberg Glusker, who also suggested that Trump might have to pay Maher's legal fees if the real estate magnate failed to overcome an early anti-SLAPP motion.

Trump might attempt to avoid that fate by bringing the lawsuit in another state. Trump could also attempt a different theory on why Maher is liable, but in tweets at the time of the original lawsuit filing, Trump sounded quite confident of his chances of victory.

After Trump sued, Maher fired back on his HBO show, Real Time.

"This is known as parody, and it's a form of something we in the comedy business call a joke," Maher said. "Just like we're the gun country, we're the joke country. We love our free speech and we love celebrities getting taken down a peg. So Don, just suck it up like everybody else."

Twitter: @eriqgardner