David Oliver Relin, who co-authored the controversial Three Cups of Tea with Greg Mortensen, killed himself in a suicide last month, authorities said Sunday night. "Relin committed suicide in the Portland-area town of Corbett on Nov. 14, deputy Multnomah County medical examiner Peter Bellant said ... He said Relin died of blunt force head injury, but declined to provide any other details." reads the AP's report.
Relin wasn't the face of Three Cups—that would be Mortensen, but he was still mired in the controversy and even a lawsuit from four readers who took issue with the book's authenticity. Back in 2011, 60 Minutes took a long look into the book, Mortensen, and his charity, and raised questions about fabrications, and whether the book was actually making good on its promise to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan (at the time there were unfinished schools). "In April, the Montana Attorney General’s office announced that Mr. Mortenson had agreed to repay the charity more than $1 million in travel and other expenses used to promote the book, including “inappropriate personal charges," reported The New York Times's Leslie Kaufman. Though, "Mr. Relin did not speak publicly about the charges, but he hired a lawyer to defend himself in a federal lawsuit that accused the authors and the publisher of defrauding readers." Relin was 49.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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