In a lawsuit filed in Tennessee last week, bestselling fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon accused her husband of poisoning her, sabotaging her career, and emotionally abusing her for decades. In addition to her soon-to-be ex-husband Lawrence R. Kenyon II, the author of the bestselling Dark-Hunter series is also suing two of her former employees in a suit worth up to $20 million.
If you think this sounds like something out of a fictional drama, you are not alone. The lawsuit described the ordeal as a "Shakespearean plot" against Kenyon. According to the filing, Kenyon believes her husband wanted to sabotage her career because of a combination of jealousy, insecurity, and the fact that he "stood to gain millions of dollars upon her demise through life insurance and the value of her estate, including her copyrights and trademarks."
The court case being filed on behalf of Kenyon accuses her husband and a former assistant of "personal injury by poisoning, civil conspiracy, and other tortious acts." It describes the emotional abuse the author claims she has endured her entire career and marriage. It also alleges both former employees worked with Kenyon's husband to derail her professional relationships and business opportunities, ruin her reputation with fans, and isolate her from family and friends.
The most shocking part of the lawsuit is Kenyon's claim that her husband and her former assistant, Kerrie Ann Plump, are guilty of "assault by poison." According to the author, lab testing she had done following her husband's divorce filing showed she had high levels of several toxins.
The lawsuit goes on to describe Kenyon II and Plump's "continued and unrelenting actions and assault against Ms. Kenyon, including the solicitation of the hostile fan attacks and Ms. Plump impugning Ms. Kenyon’s ability to meet her deadlines because she was ‘sleeping all the time’ due to the toxins that were being fed to Ms. Kenyon without her knowledge and without her permission.”
It continues to describe the horrific symptoms Kenyon says she suffered as a result of the poisoning, including crumbling teeth, severe body tremors, memory loss, and extreme stomach cramps. It claims Kenyon II and Plump "would force her to eat and become enraged any time she failed to consume."
In a newsletter to fans recapping the events of the past year, Kenyon wrote about the lawsuit: "But it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses as I’m coping with the dissolution of my twenty-eight year marriage to a man I made the mistake of putting through law school by working three jobs so that he wouldn’t have to work any while he studied. A man who is now turning the skills I paid for against me as he ruthlessly lies about me and fights me for *MY* copyrights to characters, series and worlds that I had long before I ever met him (something he has admitted to on record time and again) and to books he knows he never helped to write or plot because he forbid me to even talk about my writing in front of him."
In response to his wife's lawsuit, Kenyon II told The Guardian through his lawyers, “There can be no question that Sherrilyn Kenyon is a brilliant fiction writer, but it is apparent that she has irreparably blurred the line between fiction and reality. These astonishing and unsubstantiated allegations may stand as her best fantasy creation yet. When Lawrence Kenyon filed for divorce a year ago, he wanted nothing more from his wife other than an amicable divorce. He is saddened that the stress of these proceedings has brought out the worst in such a talented writer.”
No charges have been filed against Kenyon II or Plump, but according to The Tennessean, the Williamson County Sheriff's Office has opened an investigation into the alleged poisoning.