Did Dan Brown Kill Michael Baigent?

Da Vinci The last supper detail Da Vinci codeNo one’s suggesting that Dan Brown literally murdered Michael Baigent, but the author of The Da Vinci Code and his publisher, Random House, pushed back so hard against the co-author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail‘s copyright infringement lawsuit that it killed him, says Baigent’s friend Graham Hancock, in The Independent:

Dan Brown and his publisher Random House have been sensationally accused of sending a rival author to an early grave.

Michael Baigent was left destitute after losing the case he brought against Random House for copyright infringement in 2006. Writer Graham Hancock says the protracted legal battle “cost Michael Baigent his life” – the 65-year-old author died earlier this month of a brain haemorrhage. Baigent was the co-author of a 1982 non-fiction book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which investigated the same conspiracy theories upon which Brown’s later novel, The Da Vinci Code, is based. With Richard Leigh, Baigent’s book explored the theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had had a child together. Brown’s novel made him one of the richest writers in the world, but Leigh died soon after the case finished, and Baigent sold his home in Bath to pay the £3m legal fees.

His daughter Tansy said her father had to have a liver transplant because of the stress. “Since then he has been living in rented accommodation because he lost all of our money and had nothing,” she said. Now Hancock, a writer and journalist, says: “In my opinion Dan Brown and Random House cost Michael Baigent his life by fighting this action all the way through to his utter financial ruin and allowing him to be deprived of every penny he had earned through his years of hard work, creativity and innovation… they have their hundreds of millions of dollars from the success of The Da Vinci Code but it is Michael who rightly should be remembered.”…

[continues at The Independent]

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  • AManCalledDa-da

    Brown could have at least given some crumbs to Baigent, who’s research has been stolen by so many.

    • feint_ruled

      I think he hat-tipped him with an anagrammatic name? Teabing.
      If he had been more straight up, he could have reissued the book and rode the wave of insane Da Vinci code publicity (“read the work that started it all”)
      But no, he just looked at Brown’s millions and fancied a piece of the pie.

  • James Phillip Schmitt

    Meanwhile, Garth Ennis has peed his pants from laughter.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Wait…Step 1: dude writes historical research book…one of a few on the subject of the grail and various mystical conspiracies about it.

    Step two: other author writes work of fiction with many concepts from historical research books including the first dudes.

    Step 3: fiction author makes tons of money, renews interest in subject, creates sales increase and demand for original research on the subject.

    Step 4: whining douchebag from historical research sees giant money pile…despite already having gained credibility and attention from fictional works success he gets lawyers to try and rewrite the entire history of copyright law in order to squeeze cash from fiction author (because normally fictional works cannot be said to have plagiarized research by borrowing concepts…changing this would alter the entire history and future of fiction.)

    Step 5: douchebag fails because his lawsuit was based on cash crazed bullshit, gets countersued like the nuisance rip off artist he was, and dies broke afterwards.

    Tough Shit. F*ck him. He wasn’t made broke by the evil hand of others…he was a skeezy moron who grasped after a fast buck and failed like he should have. Anyone who writes or reads fiction can take a sigh of relief and be glad that this a-hole didn’t succeed…because fiction would be a near dead art and legal fees would drive the costs of publishing to record heights as every weenie who ever wrote about dinosaur DNA would be able to sue when a work of fiction involving dinosaurs, DNA, and any combination thereof was published.

    Sorry Mr. Hancock lost a pal…also sorry he didn’t pick a better quality of people to hang with.

  • Drinky McGee

    I’m reading Holy Blood, Holy Grail now. It’s much better written than The Da Vinci Code, which I found unreadable. I didn’t make it beyond the first page, because I care about my brain. No accounting for taste, I suppose. Also, no basis for the author’s lawsuit.

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