After a failed attempt to scale the world's second largest mountain, K2, an exhausted and lost Mortenson apparently stumbled into a Pakistani village where the kindness and warmth he received led him to build a school there.
But 60 Minutes allege many stories in the book that resulted from this experience, "Three Cups of Tea" and his follow up "Stones Into Schools" are half truths and lies - including an alleged abduction by Taliban militants in Afghanistan in 1996.
And it's not just allegations of story fabrication Mortenson faces: 60 Minutes also reports a charity watchdog has information which shows large amounts of money raised by his charitable organisation Central Asia Institute (CAI) to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan have never made it to their intended destination. Some of the schools the CAI built were empty, others were not built by CAI at all while some did not even exist.
The explosive allegations, to which Mortenson has not yet responded to, can be read here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/15/60minutes/main20054397.shtml
Kinda makes the James Frey/Oprah controversy look a little tame in comparison huh? I will definitely be picking up tomorrow my copy of "Three Cups of Tea" (which has been languishing on my To Be Read bookcase for a couple of years).