‘Three Cups of Tea’. One big lie? Author accused of fudging facts
A mountaineer-philanthropist who shot into the best-seller lists with a book detailing his efforts to build girls’ schools in remote villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan fudged many of the facts in his heart-swelling story and has exaggerated the extent of his charity work, claims a documentary by CBS News to be broadcast in the US tonight.
A reporter for the 60 Minutes current affairs magazine will claim that pages of the inspirational book Three Cups of Tea, published in 2006 by Penguin, are threaded through with distortions, and that its author, Greg Mortenson, has claimed credit for some schools that appear either to have been built by someone else entirely or don’t exist at all.
Mortenson, 53, whose Central Asia Institute (CAI) has claimed to have provided schooling for 60,000 girls in the region, is this weekend countering the charges, which include questions over the probity of his financial relationship with the charity.
He suggests that those making the charges are doing so for television ratings. “I hope these… attacks, the people doing these things, know this could be devastating for tens of thousands of girls,” a clearly stung Mortenson told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle – his local newspaper in Montana.