The ex-wife of The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has filed a lawsuit alleging the man known for writing about conspiracies and secret societies led a double life during their marriage that included a tryst with a Dutch horse trainer and three other affairs.
In her lawsuit filed Monday in New Hampshire, 68-year-old Blythe Brown accuses the best-selling author of secretly diverting funds to buy lavish gifts for his mistresses including for a Dutch horse trainer by the initials JP.
She claims the 56-year-old Mr Brown spent $345,000 to buy the woman – who is an expert in Fresian horses – a horse, along with a new car, horse transport and to pay for renovations to her Netherlands home.
Blythe, a painter, art historian and collaborator on her husband’s books, alleges that he also hid scores of future projects worth ‘millions’ from her, including a television series and a children’s book due out in September.
She also claims that she inspired most of his work and came up with the premise for the Da Vinci Code.
Describing Brown’s behavior as ‘unlawful and egregious’, Blythe said she only learned about the other women – which also included a hairdresser, political official and his personal trainer – after the pair divorced in 2019 after 21 years of marriage.
‘Dan has lived a proverbial life of lies for at least the past six years, seeming to be the epitome of a world-famous novelist leading a simple life in his home state of New Hampshire, while in reality he was something quite different,’ the lawsuit claims.
‘For years, Dan has 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.’
Blythe said she initially brought the horse trainer to the US in 2013 to work with a horse the couple owned.
The affair began the following year while the woman was staying at their house recovering from a shoulder injury, she alleges.
Blythe says her husband then ‘started to act distant, dressed differently, and instigated arguments’.
According to the suit, Blythe moved out of their home in Rye Beach, New Hampshire, in 2018 after Brown told her he wanted to separate.
The couple, who have no children, divorced in December 2019.
Blythe claims she confronted her husband the following month after discovering wire transfers for large sums of money that she knew nothing about, when he admitted to doing ‘bad things with a lot of people’ and confessed to the affairs.
He told he that the affair with the trainer ‘has and will continue’, according to her lawsuit, and admitted to a tryst with a political official at their vacation home on the island of Anguilla.
At the time of the divorce, Blythe claims that Dan ‘persuaded’ her that she had ‘full knowledge’ of the wealth they accumulated while married.
Blythe, a horse enthusiast who is involved in horse and carriage driving competitions, insisted she was only filing the lawsuit to stand up for herself and assert her ‘self-worth’.
‘We worked so hard together, struggling to build something meaningful. With great success came our promises to each other that we would not let it change us or our life together,’ she said in a statement Tuesday.
‘I don’t recognize the man that Dan has become. It is time to reveal his deceit and betrayal. After so much pain, it is time for truth. It is time to right these wrongs.’
In the lawsuit, Blythe alleges that when she asked Dan about upcoming projects, he told her that he didn’t have anything in the works.
But she says that she later learned that her ex-husband was working on several new projects, including a television series called Langdon, based on the main character from The Da Vinci Code.
Dan Brown, in a statement, said he was ‘stunned’ by the allegations and called the complaint ‘written without regard for the truth’.
He said he never misled his ex-wife on their finances during their divorce and that she ended up with half their holdings after they divorced.
‘For reasons known only to her and possibly her lawyer, Blythe Brown has created through this suit a fictional and vindictive account of aspects of our marriage designed to hurt and embarrass me,’ Brown said in a statement Tuesday.
Brown, a New Hampshire native who graduated from Amherst College, has had a string of bestsellers but is best known for ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ a puzzle-filled thriller that introduced readers to the notion that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married with children.
The plot outraged church officials and scholars.
In her lawsuit, Blythe portrayed herself as inspiring Brown to give up songwriting after the pair met in 1990 and recognizing his ‘unlimited potential as a writer of fiction’. Brown also briefly worked as a teacher.
She also alleges she helped craft key themes and ideas for many of his books, ‘served as lead researcher, first-line editor, and critic, and was Dan´s literary partner in the fullest sense.’
‘Indeed, Blythe and Dan formed a partnership in the literary world that was to last for nearly thirty years, taking them places that they could never have imagined,’ according to the lawsuit, in which she seeks unspecified damages.
Brown said he always recognized his ex-wife’s contributions.
‘The allegation that I failed to fairly acknowledge the literary contributions of my former wife is wrong,’ he said.
During a 2006 trial against the publisher of the ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ the court heard how Blythe was an essential contributor to his million-selling historical thriller.
Two authors unsuccessfully sued, claiming that Brown ‘appropriated the architecture’ of their book in a high-profile London court case.
According to witness statements and court testimony, Blythe led the massive research effort, supplied countless notes and suggestions and offered an invaluable ‘female perspective’ for a book immersed in ‘the sacred feminine’.
In 2017, Brown told DailyMail.com: ‘I was writing about the Louvre and the Grail, but it was Blythe who said I should write about Mary Magdalene, too. I probably wouldn’t have written [The Da Vinci Code] without her. She’s a great researcher.’
The lawsuit comes just days after it was revealed that The Da Vinci Code, which has sold 100 million copies — and counting — since it was published 17 years ago, is bound for the UK stage, with a world premiere national tour starting next spring.