Author Salman Rushdie is threatening to sue a publisher over a book by a former bodyguard that he says portrays him as cheap, nasty and arrogant and depicts his police guards as drinking on duty. Rushdie's lawyer, Mark Stephens, said Saturday that he had written to the publisher of On Her Majesty's Service demanding it withdraw the book, which has not yet been published. The book is cowritten by Ron Evans, a former Metropolitan Police officer who was one of the team guarding Rushdie while he was under an Iranian-backed death threat for his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. The Guardian newspaper reported Saturday that the book claimed Rushdie billed the police force for officers' overnight stays at his house; that guards nicknamed him "Scruffy"; and that at one point they locked him in a cupboard while they went to the pub. Rushdie told The Guardian that the book portrayed him as "mean, nasty, tight-fisted, arrogant and extremely unpleasant." "In my humble opinion, I am none of those things." He said Evans's claims were "fictitious" and "absurd." "I am not trying to prevent him from publishing this stupid book, but if they publish it there will be consequences and there will be a libel action," Rushdie was quoted as saying. The book was due to be published next week.