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Novelist Sparks: Ex-school head started fires he put out

Updated: August 15, 2019 12:41 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Novelist Nicholas Sparks says problems at the private Christian school he founded in his North Carolina hometown were claiming too much of his attention before cutting ties with a headmaster four months after he started.

Sparks testified for a second day Thursday about the 2013 departure of the educator hired to head the school in New Bern, North Carolina, backed by the author of "Message in a Bottle" and "The Notebook."

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p>Sparks told jurors Saul Hillel Benjamin lied about his experience and job performance and caused a series of campus conflicts the author had to resolve.

Benjamin''s federal lawsuit against Sparks, his foundation and Epiphany School of Global Studies contends the educator was fired without cause, then defamed when Sparks told a job recruiter and others he suffered mental illness.

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Credits

By EMERY P. DALESIO

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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