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The cheap joke that is Donald Trump has somehow become cheaper: The real estate mogul yesterday filed a $5 million lawsuit against Bill Maher, after the television host failed to fulfill his end of a deal asking Trump to prove he is not a “spawn of an orangutan.”
Maher made the bet on Jay Leno’s show, very obviously mocking Donald Trump’s non-announcement announcement in October, in which the birther promised to donate $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choice upon the release of the president’s college transcripts. Maher mocked Trump and ”the syphilitic monkey that runs his Twitter account,” saying, “We did a new rule one week, that suppose that Donald Trump had been the spawn of on orangutan having sex with his mother.” He clarified to Leno, “I’m not saying it’s true — I hope it’s not true. But unless he comes up with proof, I’m willing to offer $5 million to Donald Trump that he can donate to a charity of his choice.”
Everyone was in on the joke except for Trump, who amazingly became the joke of the joke (of the joke). He offered up his birth certificate to prove that he was not, in fact, the son of an orangutan: “Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan.”
And after Maher didn’t pay up, Trump sued. ”I don’t think he was joking,” Trump said regarding the bet on Fox News yesterday. “He said it with venom. That was venom. That wasn’t a joke. In fact, he was nervous when he said it. It was a pathetic delivery.”
In a statement released to Politico, Trump added, “Bill Maher made an unconditional offer while on ‘The Jay Leno Show’ and I, without hesitation, accepted his offer and provided him with the appropriate documentation. Prior demands for payment went ignored by Mr. Maher despite the fact that the beneficiaries of this suit will ultimately be the charities […] who would share equally the $5 million — something I am certain they can desperately use.”
The best part? Trump tweeted that he “had an obligation to sue for charity.”
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.More Prachi Gupta.