NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York property developer and television personality Donald Trump is suing his former lawyers for $5 million, saying the firm’s use of his name on its website and in interviews violated his privacy.
In a lawsuit filed in New York State Court, Trump accused Morrison Cohen LLP and one of its partners, David Scharf, of unjust enrichment for using his name and image without his consent “for advertising purposes.”
“Defendants, without Trump’s written consent, have used — really commercially exploited — Mr. Trump’s name and reputation, and continue to do so, on Morrison Cohen’s website,” the lawsuit said.
On Monday, the law firm dismissed the lawsuit as an attempt by Trump to avoid paying $600,000 in overdue legal fees.
“We are pursuing our collections claim, we are adamant that we get paid for the services rendered, and we view this claim by the Trump organization as completely frivolous,” said the firm’s chairman, David Scherl.
From 2001 to 2006, Scharf represented Trump, who is the host of the television reality show “The Apprentice,” in a lawsuit against a golf course contractor Trump accused of overcharging him. Trump was awarded $1 million in legal fees but still owes the firm about $475,000 plus interest, Scharf said.
Earlier this year, Trump accused Morrison Cohen of malpractice and said the firm had treated him like a “cash cow” during the 2006 trial.