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Albany writer claims Chelsea Clinton stole his idea for a children's book

July 13, 2017 01:24 PM

"She Persisted" is an illustrated children's book by former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. The New York Times best seller on stores shelves everywhere is a fraud, according to Albany writer Christopher Kimberley.

"The conceptual core of her book is from our book," said Kimberley.

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His book, "A Heart is the Part That Makes Boys and Girls Smart," is also an illustrated children's book with three volumes and 42 sections, inspired by rhymes Kimberley wrote for his great niece and nephew in 2013.

"It wound up morphing into a three volume, sort of a gargantuan effort," he said.

The problem is one of the sections, "The Quotable Questionnaire," centers around quotes from inspiring historical women, including Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Nellie Bly. Meanwhile, Clinton's entire book centers around women who changed the world and also features quotes from Tubman, Keller, and Bly.

"Along with promoting in their liner notes that it's about Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Nellie Bly. When I saw that it was a head shaking moment," Kimberley said.

It was a head-shaking moment he said, thinking that he had pitched his book and sent a copy to the president of Penguin Young Readers US in 2013. It's the same publisher that published Clinton's book in May 2017. Kimberley claims the president of Penguin passed on his book, but passed the idea to Clinton to cash in on his work.

"They ignored the cease and desist I sent on May 18th," he said.

That's why Kimberley filed a lawsuit seeking $150,000 in damages plus profits from Clinton's book along with court fees. He said this is not about money. His book has been free of charge on the internet since he wrote it.

Penguin Random House sent this statement:

"This claim is entirely without merit. Penguin Random House is thrilled to have published She Persisted, which celebrates remarkable American women and the contributions they have made to this country and the world.  We are very proud of this children’s book and will take all necessary steps to defend it."

The Clinton Foundation did not respond to NewsChannel 13's requests for comments.

You can read the full lawsuit here.

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Dan Bazile

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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