NY Mayor Adams disputes his own memoir over schoolyard gun incident — "What book is this?"

New York Mayor Eric Adams, New York City's least-popular mayor in polling history, has a bone to pick with himself. It seems he wrote and published a tell-all autobiography without his own permission, which includes a description of a schoolyard gun incident he claims is a work of pure fiction.

In his 2009 memoir, "Don't Let It Happen," Adams states, "All of the incidents in this book are true." However, it appears Adams included a fabrication in his own book, and he is furious.

The excerpt in question is at the beginning of Chapter 8, titled "Guns":

When I was a child, a friend of mine brought a gun to school…to show off to the rest of the students. This was my first time seeing a real gun. After years of playing 'Cowboys and Indians' with toy guns, I did not believe the gun he was showing us was real. I laughed at his stupid trick and grabbed the gun from him. 'If this gun is real,' I said, 'then it should go off.' I pointed what I thought was a toy gun at my group of friends and pulled the trigger. A round discharged, and only by the grace of God and my poor aim did the bullet miss my friends. The incident scared me so much that I dropped the gun and ran.

At a press conference on Monday, an AP reporter asked Adams about the incident, to which Adams replied, "I fired—what book is this? I never fired a gun in school." The incident is hinted at on the book's cover, which depicts a child's school lunchbox opened to reveal a sandwich, a banana, some pretzels, and a revolver.

Quick on his feet, Adams blamed the "co-author," for inserting the false story.

"You said fired in school?"Adams asked the reporter. "I think the person who, the co-author of the book, may have misunderstood the exact someone." Don't you hate it when your uncredited co-author misunderstands the Exact Someone?

He went on, "There was an incident in school where someone pointed what they thought was a toy gun and they may have misunderstood—that book never got into print because we never went through the proofreading aspect of it."

This leads to another weird aspect to this already bizarre story. The book, which Adams claims never got into print, is available on Amazon for $24.70. That's another thing Adams is going to have to talk to Adams about. Maybe they can blame the ghostly co-author or Exact Someone for it.

Hell Gate, which broke the story, posted an update after receiving a statement from the Mayor's Office:

A mayoral spokesperson wrote Hell Gate in an email that the mayor is asking the publisher to stop selling the book.

"The mayor has already contacted the publisher, who is working to take the book out of circulation," the spokesperson wrote.

According to the Mayor's Office, the book was written by a ghostwriter, and Adams never reviewed the version that was read to him today. The Mayor's Office also insists that Adams had no idea the book was publicly available until today, and that the mayor never made any money off its sale.

Hell Gate followed up with three questions:

  • Who was the "ghostwriter"?
  • Xulon Press is a self-publishing company. Is the mayor saying that the ghostwriter self-published this book without his permission or knowledge?
  • Does the mayor disavow the whole book?

The Mayor's Office responded to our email, but did not answer the questions, and merely reiterated that Adams never reviewed the book before it was published.

Hell Gate has filed a Freedom of Information Request for communications between Xulon Press and the Mayor's Office regarding Adams's request that the book be pulled from shelves.