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Patricia Cornwell Out $40 Million


Best-selling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell is out $40 million, and she's suing her team of accountants and financial advisers to find out exactly where all that money went.

The latest high-profile lesbian to make headlines for her financial woes, Cornwell and her Kay Scarpetta novels regularly appear on best-seller lists worldwide and have even attracted the attention of Hollywood -- Angelina Jolie is slated to star in an adaptation of her books for Fox 2000.

But now, Cornwell claims she's lost a sizable amount of her fortune thanks to mismanagement of her estate by Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP, a New York financial management firm that specializes in "privately held businesses and high-net-worth individuals," including such celebrities as Robert De Niro.

Cornwell's suit claims the firm mishandled not only her money but the finances of her wife, Harvard neuroscientist Staci Gruber. The two live in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2004.

"Patricia has found this process to be very distracting and upsetting, but I think she has some level of comfort knowing that the lawsuit has been filed and is now in the hands of the court," Cornwell's Boston attorney, Joan Lukey, told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview.

Lukey told The Daily Beast "this has been a very difficult time for both" Cornwell and Gruber.

The best-selling author recently embarked on a book tour to promote The Scarpetta Factor, her 17th novel in the successful series.

The author spoke to The Advocate in 2008, crediting Billie Jean King with helping her come to terms with coming out. She said in the interview that turning 50 had helped her to see the importance of speaking out for equal rights.

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