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Da Vinci author defends book

Dan Brown dismissed claims that he stole ideas for The Da Vinci Code.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 19:06 IST

Author Dan Brown broke his silence on Monday when he dismissed as “completely fanciful” claims that he stole ideas for his blockbuster The Da Vinci Code.

Taking the stand in London’s High Court, Brown was defending his publisher against allegations that his 2003 novel lifts from The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, which was published in 1982.

Brown, one of the highestpaid authors in history who spoke for the first time since the case opened February 27, said The Code had been written after he and his wife, Blythe, carried out joint research.

But he said The Holy Blood...

was just one of many books he had studied and from where he took the idea that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, had children who survived and married into a line of French kings and that the bloodline survives until the present day.

That idea is part of the central theme of the earlier book, whose co-authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing Random House, the publisher of both books.

In a statement put before the court, Brown said: “Baigent and Leigh are only two of a number of authors who have written about the bloodline story.” “I have been shocked at their reaction. Furthermore I do not really understand it.” He said he had been accused of lifting the overall design of The Holy Blood... and using them in The Da Vinci Code. “This is simply not true,” he said.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 19:06 IST