Donald Trump has been given a boost in his defamation lawsuit against writer TIMOTHY O BRIEN - a New York judge has ordered publisher ARTHUR 'PINCH' SULZBERGER to give a deposition in support of the property mogul's case.
Trump recently filed suit against New York Times Sunday business editor O'Brien, accusing the journalist of damaging his reputation in his 2005 book TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.
In the tome, O'Brien claims The Apprentice star is worth between $150 million (GBP81 million) and $250 million (GBP135 million) - far less than Trump's own assertions that he is worth billions.
Now Sulzberger, who corresponded with O'Brien about Trump for the book, has been dragged into the legal wrangle and ordered to give a deposition against his wishes.
Trump's lawyers believe Sulzberger's version of events will strengthen their case that O'Brien defamed the star in the book, which was serialised in the New York Times. The newspaper editors themselves are not named in the lawsuit against O'Brien.
In one email between Sulzberger and O'Brien, the publisher praises the book and the writer replies: "Donald is easy to lampoon, but harder to portray accurately (and deep down inside he's really sort of likable - in the way that endearing but out of control eight-year-olds are likable)."
In another 2005 message, O'Brien admits Trump is likely to "go ballistic" over some chapters of the book, but concedes: "He did see the cover art... and called to tell me: 'I loooovvve this. I look like some kind of superhero. Like a Marvel superhero.'"
But a Trump insider insists the mogul isn't keen on the book's contents.
The source tells the New York gossip column PageSix, "They (O'Brien's attorneys) are dying to settle, but Trump doesn't want to. They know the numbers are closer to $10 billion and they've got a lot of inaccuracies in the book."