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Doubleday Dilemma

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A third lawsuit has been filed in a Seattle federal court against the best-selling author James Frey.

In the wake of the discovery by The Smoking Gun, an investigative Web site, alleging that Frey fabricated some information in his book, A Million Little Pieces, Doubleday, a division of Random House, the book's publisher, issued a statement promising to issue refunds to readers who purchased directly from the publisher.

Seattle plaintiffs, however, also seek damages on behalf of consumers for "lost time" they spent reading the book before knowing that the "memoir" was rife with exaggerations and inconsistencies.

Yesterday Oprah Winfrey said on her talk show that she is "disappointed and embarrassed" after defending Frey earlier on both her show and in a phone interview to Larry King. The memoir was selected for Oprah Winfrey's book club and has so far sold more than 3 ½ million copies since its publication in 2003 by Doubleday.

The suit now seeks class action against Frey and his publisher, alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

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