BRENTWOOD – World-renowned author Dan Brown, a Rye Beach resident, is being sued by his ex-wife for allegedly misrepresenting the value of the couple’s estate during their divorce by engaging in “unlawful and egregious conduct during the last several years of their marriage.”
Blythe Brown, who now lives in Dover, filed the lawsuit in Rockingham Superior Court Monday alleging her ex-husband had, for years, “secretly removed substantial funds from his and Blythe’s hard-earned marital assets to conduct sordid, extra-marital affairs with women – one half his age – and to pursue a clandestine life.”
Dan Brown released a statement Tuesday calling the lawsuit filed by his ex-wife a “fictional and vindictive account of aspects of our marriage designed to hurt and embarrass,” him. He said he was “stunned” his former wife was seeking “even more” financial considerations by making such “false claims.”
The seven-count lawsuit includes allegations Dan Brown violated New Hampshire state law when he “repeatedly misrepresented” their marital assets and finances, by allegedly filing a false financial affidavit in divorce proceedings.
She is requesting the court issue an order accounting for Dan Brown’s assets, monies, accounts and future work projects from July 1, 2018, through the present, while tripling the damages to be paid to her should she prevail at trial.
According to the lawsuit, the couple physically separated in 2018 after Dan Brown allegedly became, “exceedingly contentious, initiating heated arguments with Blythe seemingly over nothing.” The suit states the divorce was finalized in December 2019.
Blythe stated in the suit she recently uncovered the truth about Dan’s secret double life of affairs and fraudulent representations relating to their marital assets and his misconduct. One of the alleged affairs occurred with a horse trainer from Holland who Blythe Brown accuses her ex-husband of purchasing “extravagant gifts” for, including several racehorses, during a six-year affair.
Blythe Brown asserts in the suit she “originated key themes and critical ideas” for her then-husband’s novels, on top of conducting research. After his early novels did not enjoy widespread success, Blythe Brown claims she was the “originator” of the plot premise for the smash-hit “The Da Vinci Code.”
The lawsuit claims Dan Brown was initially resistant to constructing a plot around the relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene and purportedly told her, “I’m not touching that idea with a 10-foot pole.”
The novel, which involves a treasure hunt centered on the Holy Grail and Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene being married and having a family bloodline running up through the present, sold 80 million copies and was adapted into a movie starring Tom Hanks in 2006 that grossed $760 million worldwide. Seven of Brown’s novels have sold in excess of 250 million copies.
The lawsuit includes sworn testimony from Dan Brown when he prevailed in legal action in an English court after being accused of plagiarizing portions of “The Da Vinci Code” in 2005. In the testimony, he credited Blythe Brown for refining the novel’s central plot.
According to Blythe Brown’s lawsuit, starting in 2014, she began to notice changes in her then-husband’s behavior, which eventually led to him informing her of his desire to separate in the summer of 2018.
“Claiming he wanted to avoid a protracted public proceeding, Dan told Blythe that they had no secrets between them, and he persuaded Blythe that she had full knowledge of the nature and extent of the assets they had acquired during the marriage,” the lawsuit reads. “This was untrue. Dan had for a number of years, secretly siphoned funds from their marital assets, at least in part to finance his activities with his mistresses.”
Blythe Brown accuses her ex-husband of removing “substantial sums of money from their accounts” to buy lavish gifts and finance the business of his mistress, the horse trainer from Holland. The lawsuit claims Dan Brown had a scheme to purchase “champion-level” Friesian horses beginning in 2015 for his mistress to train, show and use to promote her businesses.
The lawsuit claims a number of the monetary wires used to purchase some of the Friesian horses were transferred using the names of “Daniel G. Brown” and “Jason Kaufman,” who is Dan Brown’s editor, and oversees an account she claims he left to Kaufman in the event of his death.
Blythe Brown asserts in the suit she confronted her ex-husband in January 2020 when she learned of secret wire transfers and he claimed his affair with the horse trainer from Holland began in 2018. She also alleges her ex-husband had affairs with a “political official” at the Browns’ Anguilla vacation home and his own personal trainer; both while the Browns were still married, and while using their financial assets to continue both extramarital relationships.
She also claims her ex-husband hid projects from her including that he had been working with NBC Universal to create a theatrical series “Langdon,” based on the novels, “the Brown’s created together.” Robert Langdon is the main character in “The Da Vinci Code.” She alleges Dan Brown was also working on a MasterClass series, a new children’s book, a music project and was planning to write additional novels based on the treasure hunts of Langdon.
“Dan stands to make millions from these projects, which is undoubtedly why he hid them from Blythe,” the lawsuit reads. “Blythe has also suffered from severe and ongoing emotional distress and physical symptoms that negatively affect her quality of life. (Her) sense of pain, humiliation, betrayal and anguish is unbearable and debilitating.”
Dan Brown denied the allegations outlined in the suit.
“Any suggestion that I was not completely honest in financial disclosures during our divorce is wrong,” Dan Brown stated. “The allegation that I failed to fairly acknowledge the literary contributions of my former wife is wrong. As part of the settlement agreement we reached, all of our assets as of that date were listed in writing. That document became part of the signed decree when we divorced in 2019. I swore to the truthfulness of what was contained on that list, and I stand by that financial statement today.”