No 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]