Alex Malarkey, the protagonist of the New York Times bestseller and movie The Boy Who Came from Heaven, is now sueing his publisher Tyndale House. Despite the publisher making millions of dollars out of the sales of the book, Malarkey alleges that he was paid nothing.
Malarkey, who is now 20, filed a lawsuit against the publisher earlier this week, claiming his father "concoct[ed] a story that, during the time Alex was in a coma, he had gone to Heaven, communicated with God the Father, Jesus, angels, and the devil, and then returned", and alleging that while Tyndale House has "made millions of dollars off Alex's identity and an alleged autobiographical story of his life, [it has] paid Alex, a paralysed young man, nothing".
It all started in 2004 when Malarkey (who was only six years old) had a car accident that almost killed him. Two months later he woke up from a coma to find himself paralysed from the neck down. He and his father, Kevin, a Christian therapist, wrote The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven together. In the book, which later became a film, Malarkey wrote of "the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just 'terrible' to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all ... Of meeting and talking to Jesus."
However, in 2015, Malarkey and his mother annoinced that the events narrated in the book were not true. However, both publishers, Tyndale House and Lifeway, apparently continued profiting from the book despite the revelations. LifeWay insisted that it only found out the truth about the book through Malarkey's open letter, moving immediately to remove it from its bookshelves.
Monday's lawsuit declares that Malarkey does not want to be connected with the book in any way, shape or form. "Now that he is an adult, Alex desires to have his name completely disassociated from the book and seeks a permanent injunction against Tyndale House requiring it to do everything within reason to disassociate his name from the book," the complaint reads.
"Alex is not affiliated with the book. Alex is not connected to the book. Alex wants and has no association with the book."