NEWARK, NJ - On what would have been the 86th birthday of Malcolm X, criminal defense attorney and former Plainfield, NJ Mayor Mark Fury filed a $50 Million lawsuit against Columbia University, Viking Press and the estate of Manning Marable regarding Marable’s posthumously published biography, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.”
Fury is representing former Nation of Islam Minister Linward X Cathcart in the lawsuit filed in Newark federal court.
In his book, Marable suggests Cathcart “may have been involved in the murder” or worse, physically supervised the assassination of Malcolm X on the night of February 21, 1965 in the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
The author also wrote that “Malcolm appears to have begun an illicit sexual affair with an eighteen year-old” secretary, and that both Mr. Cathcart and Malcolm X were involved with that same woman, right up to the night of Malcolm’s assassination. Mr. Cathcart vehemently denies these allegations.
Mr. Cathcart was seated in the auditorium the night Malcolm X was killed. “Mr. Cathcart was the only person searched at the door of the Audubon that night. He was permitted a seat down front because of his close relationship with Malcolm. He came, as did several hundred others, to hear what Malcolm had to say about his separation from the Nation of Islam and his plans for the Organization of African American Unity (OAAU).
“Within 24 hours of the shooting, Mr. Cathcart was among the first to be interviewed by the FBI. They found no evidence of his involvement. From that time to the present, no one has offered any basis for the scurrilous claims in Manning Marable’s book,” attorney Mark Fury said.
According to the 500-plus page volume, (which sat on Marable’s shelf for 30 years before being rushed to press after the author was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease in 2010) Mr. Cathcart and Malcolm X shared the previously mentioned girlfriend that Mr. Cathcart actually did not formally meet until after the death of Malcolm X.
Manning Marable suggests that Malcolm X was both a homosexual and a whore-monger; that his wife Betty Shabazz slept with other men during their marriage with the knowledge and consent of Malcolm X, and that his alleged mistress “may have” spent the night with him in a hotel on the night before his death.
“This egregious twisting of facts, the licentious use of innuendo and the proliferation of outright lies is beneath the dignity of the late professor and the institution that helped him research and finance this project for more than 30 years”, said Fury. “There is no basis for any of these statements or conclusions. This book is a libelous, slanderous attack on several of the most important figures in American history (the writer also raises serious questions about the motives and credibility of the co-author of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” Alex Haley). Everyone should feel cheated and attacked, not just Malcolm enthusiasts or even just African Americans. This is an attack on all of us,” Fury said.