Sometimes, fact and fiction have a strange way of blurring, especially in the lives of authors who craft fiction for a living.
Last year, a novelist from Oregon who once wrote an essay titled "How To Murder Your Husband" made headlines when she was charged with - you guessed it - murdering her husband.
This week, best-selling fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon was the one to share her unbelievably true life story. But in this case, the writer claims she was the victim of a cruel plot that sounds like it was lifted from one of her stories.
Kenyon has written dozens of fantasy novels, and is best known for her Dark Hunter series, which has sold millions of copies around the world.
This week, in a newsletter to her fans, Kenyon explained why she cut back from making public appearances for several years, including at her own annual fan convention.
As she explained, "out of the blue I was viciously and painfully struck down by a bevy of strange, inexplicable and baffling symptoms."
But Kenyon went on to make an explosive claim about her illness:
"This past spring and summer, after new rounds of testing, my doctor finally learned the cause of it all: Someone close to me was tainting my food."
In a lawsuit filed this week, Kenyon accused her ex-husband, Lawrence Kenyon, of attempting to poison her for years in what she claims was an attempt to inherit her life insurance policy and estate.
Lawrence's assistant, Kerrie Ann Plump, is also named in the 80-page filing that lays out a disturbing pattern of emotional and physical abuse.
Kenyon accused her husband and his assistant of poisoning her food and drink for three years, and says they "would force her to eat and become enraged any time she failed to consume it."
Shortly after Plump was hired by Lawrence, Kenyon says she started to develop mysterious symptoms that eventually left her unable to walk on her own. In the lawsuit, she describes her hair and teeth falling out as she suffered from nausea, vomiting, disorientation, broken bones, and other painful symptoms.
Kenyon's complaint says that a crucial part of the plot was a million-dollar insurance policy on her life, which she claims Lawrence took out without her knowledge and that named him as the sole beneficiary.
A telltale sign of the poisoning came in 2017, when Kenyon says she shared a meal prepared by Plump with another employee, who started to vomit and became sick.
After divorcing Lawrence in 2017, Kenyon says she had tests performed on her blood, nails, and hair that revealed high levels of lithium, tin, barium, platinum, and thorium. She also claims that after Lawrence moved out of their home, the symptoms quickly subsided.
"Rest assured," Kenyon wrote to her fans. "I am much better today as my symptoms have dramatically improved since this past March when it all came to light and the authorities were notified."
Along with the poisoning plot, Kenyon alleges that another man hired by her as an IT specialist helped the scheming couple steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from her bank accounts.
Along with the theft, Kenyon blames Lawrence and Plump for sabotaging her career and costing her hundreds of thousands of dollars in canceled contacts.
Her lawsuit lists assault by poisoning, concerted action aiding and abetting, intentional interference with business relationships, and invasion of privacy as the causes of action.
Kenyon also says she's working with police to investigate the alleged poisoning.
[H/T: The Tennessean]