Wishart cries foul as rival author's complaint forces book off shelves

Mr Wishart's book was released this morning but has  already been pulled off shelves. 

UPDATED 5:45PM

Investigative journalist Ian Wishart is preparing legal action against rival author Keith Hunter for "slander of goods," he tells NBR ONLINE.

Reports emerged this evening that Mr Wishart's new book about the murder of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart had been pulled from Whitcoulls' shelves due to a complaint from Mr Hunter.

"He rung around every major retailer threatening legal action if the book is defamatory of him, which is a very vague claim. He didn't specify anything that was defamatory because he hadn't even read the book," he says.

Mr Wishart goes on to call Mr Hunter's actions a "staggering gagging stunt."

Whitcoulls staff reportedly told Mr Wishart that they had received a vague, unspecified threat from Mr Hunter and were pulling his book off their shelves.

He says Mr Whitcoulls 'folded' because it feared it may be in the firing line if the book did contain defamatory statements, which he insists it does not.

"I was very careful with my choice of words in the book," he says.

He says he is still in discussions with Whitcoulls but is preparing legal action. Paper Plus is Tweeting that Mr Wishart's book will remain on its shelves.

Mr Wishart's Elementary chronicles his investigation into who killed Olivia Hope and Ben Smart 28 years ago. It features "unseen evidence" which backs up Scott Watson’s newly contested conviction.

The 363-page book was released this morning.

 Whitcoulls has been contacted for comment but is yet to respond.

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