Subject Of Fake “I Died And Went To Heaven” Book Sues Christian Publisher For Royalties And Defamation

Courthouse News reports:

A quadriplegic man who emerged from a coma in 2004 claims Christian publisher Tyndale House published a fake near-death story about him going to heaven, which was concocted by his father after they survived a severe car accident. Alex Malarkey, 19, claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in Dupage County, Ill., that Tyndale House Publishers has made millions of dollars from a book his father wrote that falsely claimed he died and went to heaven, where he spoke to Jesus and the devil.

Published in 2010, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” a New York Times bestseller, sold over 1 million copies and spawned an audio CD, DVD documentary and a TV movie deal. But Malarkey, who depends solely on Social Security payments to get by, has not seen a dime of revenue, according to the complaint. Malarkey sued Tyndale for appropriation of likeness, exploitation of a person with a disability and defamation for describing him as a “dynamic witness for Christ” in a book allegedly based on lies.

Malarkey says he and his mother are on the verge of homelessness and that the publisher claimed in 2015 that it was taking the book out of publication. The book remains for sale on Amazon, where it has a four-star rating.