March 23-30, 2006 Edition

Da Vinci Code

Arguments End,

Ruling Due in April

LONDON/3/21/06—Arguments have ended in the case to decide whether Dan Brown plagiarized another work in writing his bestselling The DA Vinci Code, according to an item on A decision is expected to be handed down in early April.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, historians and authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, have accused Brown of stealing from their works.

Both Brown’s book and their works raise the possibility that Jesus had a child by Mary Magdalene, that she fled to France after the Crucifixion and that Christ’s bloodline survives to this day. They also associate Magdalene with the Holy Grail.

Much of the case focuses on research by Brown’s wife Blythe who didn’t give evidence because, according to him, she is not keen on the media spotlight.

The historians argue that Brown’s wife, Blythe, who did the research for her husband’s bestseller, must have referred to the Holy Blood book before Brown wrote his synopsis for The DA Vinci Code in January 2001. However, Brown has denied this in his witness statement.

The DA Vinci Code has sold more than 40 million copies, making it an all-time bestseller.

A movie based on the book and starring Tom Hanks is scheduled to be released in June.