The former 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 other affairs.
In her lawsuit filed in New Hampshire, Blythe Brown also claimed credit for inspiring much of his work and coming up with the premise for The Da Vinci Code.
She also alleged Brown hid scores of future projects worth "millions" from her, including a television series as well as a children's book due out in September.
The most explosive allegations in Monday's filing, however, are the extramarital affairs.
Describing Brown's behaviour as "unlawful and egregious", his ex-wife said she only learned about it after the pair divorced in 2019 after 21 years of marriage.
She accuses the best-selling author of secretly diverting funds to pay for gifts to an unnamed horse trainer, including several Friesian horses and financing for his lover's horse training business.
She alleges the "illegal behaviour" took place in New Hampshire, Europe and the Caribbean.
"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."
Dan Brown 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 on Tuesday.
Blythe Brown, 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".
Dan Brown, a New Hampshire native, has had a string of bestsellers but is best known for The Da Vinci Code.
Australian Associated Press