The co-author of a very controversial book–“Three Cups Of Tea”–has allegedly committed suicide, investigators say. He was 49.
David Oliver Relin died of apparent blunt force trauma to the head on or around November 14th; he was found in Corbett, Oregon, but investigators aren’t releasing any more information, or why they think it was a suicide.
Relin co-wrote the infamous book with Greg Mortenson and faced a wave of backlash and even lawsuits when a “60 Minutes” story was released claiming numerous inconsistencies with the book’s facts. The tome was written about Mortenson’s time spent in Pakistan, where he founded a charity organization to build schools. The “60 Minutes” story, however, focused on allegations that Mortenson used the charity to procure money for himself and posited that the 3-time Nobel Prize nominee had fabricated huge sections of the book.
In a statement released just after the segment aired, Mortenson denied the claims vehemently.
“As those of you who know me and have supported my work over the years will recognize, the story being framed by ’60 Minutes’ to air in a few hours today — as far as we can tell — paints a distorted picture using inaccurate information, innuendo and a microscopic focus on one year’s (2009) IRS 990 financial, and a few points in the book ‘Three Cups of Tea’ that occurred almost 18 years ago. The Board of Directors and I made the very difficult decision to not engage with ’60 Minutes’ on camera, after they attempted an eleventh hour aggressive approach to reach me, including an ambush in front of children at a book signing at a community service leadership convention in Atlanta. It was clear that the program’s disrespectful approach would not result in a fair, balanced or objective representation of our work, my books or our vital mission.”
Relin never spoke publicly about the claims. An investigation into his death is ongoing.