The Washington Post

Montana’s attorney general opens investigation on “Three Cups of Tea” author

Greg Mortenson, his son Khyber, and daughter, Amira Mortenson, with students at Gultori War refugee school, 2009. (Deidre Eitel/ PR Newswire)

The “Three Cups of Tea” controversy just gets messier and messier. Montana’s attorney general has opened an investigation into Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute based in the state, reports the Associated Press. “My office will not jump to any conclusions—but we have a responsibility to make sure charitable assets are used for their intended purposes,” Steve Bullock said in a statement.

Mortenson, accused by “60 Minutes” of fabricating facts and mismanaging charity funds, denies any wrongdoing and blames co-author David Oliver Relin for inaccuracies in the book: “There were some omissions and compressions. . . I would squawk about it and be told that it would all work out,” he told Outside magazine.

Relin has refused all requests for interviews since the scandal broke. In 2008, he gave an interview to Michael Werner for Etude literary magazine and said that he — alone — wrote the book after interviewing Mortenson, his supporters, and critics. “That’s been the only negative thing about this whole adventure for me,” said Relin. “After I turned in the manuscript, I received a galley back from the publisher with two names on it. It was published that way over my objections.” The bestselling book, of course, went on to make millions; Relin presumably shared a piece of that very big pie.

Relin’s rep and publisher Viking did not respond to requests for comment.


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