- THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE: When you're promoting
your life story, especially when that story turns into a bestseller about
flying saucers, it's not a good idea to let your son butt in on the press
junket, assault the publicist and threaten the life of the producer who
owns the movie rights.
- That's allegedly what happened after
Col. Philip J. Corso's ghostwritten memoir, "The Day After Roswell,"
was published this summer, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles
Superior Court. Named as defendants are Col. Corso and his son, Philip
Jr., accused by producer Neil Russell of failing to promote the book after
a dispute over money.
- The hardback spent three weeks in August
on the New York Times bestseller list, rising to No. 12 before dropping
off the radar. A favorite of UFO buffs, it propounds that the laser, the
microchip and fiber-optics were developed from technology gleaned from
an alien spacecraft that crashed 50 years ago in the desert near Roswell,
- During a 21-year military career, Corso
was a key intelligence officer who served on Gen. Douglas MacArthur's staff
in Korea and as a National Security Advisor to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Russell says in his suit that he bought the rights to Corso's life story
in 1992, then decided it would be lucrative to publish a book and then
release a movie version.
- The dispute began at a meeting in April
or May when, the suit states, Corso's son "demanded extraordinary
amounts of money" pending the book's release.
- Afterward, the suit contends, Corso Jr.
interfered with interviews, assaulted Russell and a Simon & Schuster
publicist, and threatened Russell's life--all at the colonel's behest.
The colonel, meanwhile, is accused of trying to negotiate a better movie
deal with someone else.
- Because of the Corsos' behavior, the
suit alleges, Simon & Schuster and its Pocket Books division canceled
negotiations for future book deals.
- Russell and his production company are
seeking unspecified damages, as well as punitive damages and a restraining
order preventing the Corsos from calling or threatening Russell and his
- Neither Russell nor his lawyer, Martin
J. Singer, had any comment. Corso's publicist at Pocket Books had no comment
and said she didn't know how to reach him. Other attempts to reach Corso