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Lavish Spending By Patricia Cornwell Revealed
The lavish spending of crime writer Patricia Cornwell revealed: $100M lawsuit lays bare personal helicopter, $5M for private jets, $11M on estate and a lease at Trump Tower
Patricia Cornwell, 56, is suing Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and money manager Evan Snapper, claiming she lost untold millions. Cornwell had only $13M left in her account after four years - despite earning over $10M a year in book sales. Money managers say she and her wife, a Harvard University neuroscientist spent it on all on their upscale lifestyle
Renowned crime novelist has found an uncomfortable new subject for her latest drama - herself. Patricia Cornwell is suing her former financial management firm in a Boston court, claiming the stewards of her money fleeced her out of millions of dollars and lost millions more by making risky investments without her consent. She is seeking damages that could total more than $100million.But the trial has cast a harsh spotlight on the 56-year-old, who is intensely private.
Evan Snapper, a former principal at New York wealth management firm Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP, agrees Cornwell's money is gone - but only because she spent it all on a lavish lifestyle. His attorneys have described expenses including $40,000 a month for an apartment at Trump Tower in New York City, $200,000 in taxes alone for her customized, personal helicopter, $5million for private jets to ferry her across the country and $11 million for private estates in Concord, Massachusetts - where she lives with her wife of 7 years, Harvard University neuroscientist Staci Gruber.'Where did the money go? Ms Cornwell and Dr Gruber spent the money,' James Campbell, the attorney for the financial company, said. 'You have to consider the large lifestyles involved, the spending habits, impulsive buying.'
Cornwell's crime novels, most of which follow Virginia forensic examiner Kay Scarpetta, have made Cornwell a nationally-recognized name. Her books - which lean heavily on the use of forensic science - are credited as a major influence for the TV show 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.'Her novels have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
This is not the first time Cornwell has begrudgingly found herself in the spotlight. In the early 1990s, Cornwell had an affair with Margo Bennett, a married FBI agent, which came out years later after Bennett's estranged husband was arrested and convicted for the attempted murder of his wife and the abduction of her pastor.Cornwell has also publicly revealed that she struggles with bipolar disorder. Her lawyer argues that she hired Snapper and his firm to insulate herself from her money and that Snapper knew this and took advantage of her over her four-and-a-half-year relationship with the company.
'This case is, at its core, about trust,' her lawyer, Joan Lukey, told the jury. 'There is no amount of money that is enough to properly compensate her for what Anchin, Block and Anchin did.'Cornwell fired the firm after discovering in July 2009 that the net worth of her and her company, despite having earning above $10million in earnings per year during the previous 4 years, was a little under $13 million, the equivalent of only one year's net income. She also claims in the lawsuit that Anchin had borrowed several million dollars, including mortgages for property and a loan for the purchase of a helicopter, and had lost millions by moving her from a conservative investment strategy to high-risk without her permission.She said she also found checks written for expenses she never authorized, including a $5,000 check for a bat mitzvah gift to Snapper's daughter from Cornwell, she alleges.
According to the Boston Globe, she claims money for 46 rare books she purchased was also mishandled. And, she says, Snapper steered investments into a development backed by one of his associates - Bobby DeNiro, the son of actor Robert DeNiro.
Cornwell says problems caused by Anchin and Snapper were so distracting that they caused her to miss a book deadline for the first time in her career and cost her $15 million in non-recoverable advances and commissions.
After Cornwell filed the lawsuit in 2009, Snapper pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws by buying $50,000 in tickets to an Elton John concert benefiting Hillary Rodham Clinton, using Cornwell's money. He paid a fine.
Cornwell, a Virginia native, is politically connected herself - though she has preferred to support Republican candidates in the past.
She reportedly summered with President George H.W. Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, and has close family ties to evangelist Billy Graham - even acting as a spokesperson for the family.
Lawyers for Anchin and Snapper deny Cornwell's claims. During opening statements at the trial, attorney Campbell described Cornwell as 'a demanding client' who 'tends to push off responsibility and assign blame when things go off track.''I do what I do when and how I do it,' she allegedly wrote in an email to Snapper read by Campbell to the jury.
Cornwell said one of Anchin's primary functions in 2006 was to ensure that locations were arranged where she could write without distraction while her home was undergoing reconstruction. She said Snapper leased a series of expensive apartments, including one at Trump Tower in New York, that she had to leave long before leases expired because of construction, privacy or other issues.
In the lawsuit, Cornwell openly acknowledges her struggles with bipolar disorder, an illness she said has contributed to her belief that she needs other people to manage her business affairs and investments. She said Anchin was aware of her illness.
- She's never boring, is she?
- If he took $50,000 from her bank account you know it was not just a one time incident. The truth is easily in the middle: she overspent, he stole.
- How nice that the hypocritical homophobe Billy Graham makes exceptions for his gay pets.
- R3 - I agree. WTF? He bought $50,000 worth of tickets without her knowledge?
Ms. Cornwell doesn't come off really balanced in interviews, but she's not stupid.
So, $40,000/month place is $480,000 a year - leaving 9.5 million left per year. I bet the place in NH is fully paid off.
I hope these guys get ruined - I'm sick and tired of money managers and others in finance fleecing other people - with no consequences.
- Who is intensely private expect when she is in the papers at the center of outlandish stories.
- Oh goody, a Patty Cornwell gossip thread. That bitch is crazy and is always good for some outrageous behavior. Bipolar spending freak meets larcenous investment guy. Drama ensues.
Hi, I'm Staci - fly me.
- Summer with H.W.? Friends with Billy Graham? I knew she had challenges, mentally, but I didn't know she was a fucking lunatic, likely with self-loathing tendencies. Sad. How in the world does Graham, Inc., justify an out lesbian being part of its inner circle?
- Cornwell had been a friend of Ruth Graham for many years - in fact, Ruth was like a surrogate mother to her. So obviously she grew up knowing the family, and is still close to them. And I'm sure her orientation is no secret to them either.
- [quote]Cornwell had been a friend of Ruth Graham for many years - in fact, Ruth was like a surrogate mother to her. So obviously she grew up knowing the family, and is still close to them. And I'm sure her orientation is no secret to them either.
I'm sure it isn't a secret. Especially since Patricia married a woman
- And a legally MARRIED lesbian, r8! This guy took out a full page ad against gay marriage in the New York Times just a few months ago, yet he socializes with a married lesbian couple? Or does Patricia leave her wife at home like a pathetic coward when she visits with the Grahams? Even if it's the latter, Graham *knows* she's married to a woman. What, is it okay if you're rich enough? Republican enough? God, these people make me sick!
- Right, R9, but they're not gay-friendly, at all. They're far from the worst in the evangelical camp, but they do preach "love the sin/hate the sinner" bullshit. Seems odd that they and Cornwall are so close.
- She won the lawsuit. Will she, actually, get any money back?
[italic]US crime writer Patricia Cornwell has won a $51m (£33m) lawsuit against her former financial managers, after a jury agreed their negligence cost her millions in losses.
The firm Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP said no funds were missing from the author's account.
It blamed losses on the recent recession and on Cornwell's supposedly extravagant spending habits.
Cornwell is best known for novels about heroine medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.
In a lawsuit in federal court in Massachusetts, the writer said that in 2009 she discovered her net worth was less than $13m, even though she had an eight-figure annual income for the previous four years.
Cornwell found out "that Anchin had borrowed on [her] behalf collectively several million dollars, comprised of mortgages for real property and a loan for the purchase of a helicopter," the complaint says.
Cornwell also accused her financial managers of failing to arrange temporary accommodation for her when renovation on her home took longer than expected.
The complaint adds that because Cornwell suffers from bipolar disorder - a condition she says her business managers were aware of - the author's "ability to write is dependent upon the ability to avoid distractions".
"A quiet, uninterrupted environment, free of the distractions of managing her business and her assets, including her investments, is essential to her ability to write and to meet her deadlines," it says.
Cornwell said that as a result of the disruption she missed a book deadline for the first time in her career.
"This was very destabilising. I really lost my ability to focus and concentrate. I did not know what the book was about anymore," Cornwell said, according to the Associated Press.
In a lawsuit, Cornwell said the missed deadline cost her about $15m - a year of income - in book advances and commissions that could not be recovered.
"God bless justice," Cornwell said, upon learning of the verdict. "It's a huge relief and it's been a huge ordeal."
Anchin, Block and Anchin described Cornwell as a demanding client who would use the firm for everything from arranging care for her mother to taking her clothes to the tailor.
Her former financial manager Evan Snapper denied the writer's claims during testimony.
"I did not steal any money from anyone," he said. "The money was there."
James Campbell, an attorney for the defendants, said the firm was considering appealing against the verdict.
"We continue to believe the firm acted professionally and appropriately," he told the Boston Globe. "For more than 90 years, the professionals at Anchin have built a reputation for honesty and integrity. The firm will endure in spite of today's outcome."[/italic]
- [quote]the net worth of her and her company, despite having earning above $10 million in earnings per year during the previous 4 years, was a little under $13 million.
$10M earnings, after taxes is $5M. Spend $2M, leaves $3M per year. Four years = $12M. If the firm left her with $13M, sounds like they did well for her.
- did you read about her having an affair with the female police chief in England
and her list of people she didn't trust, including Kathy Reichs?
- Gosh, she's spending like an unmedicated Bipolar!
How about that.
- [quote] Cornwell had been a friend of Ruth Graham for many years
She was actually Ruth Graham's secretary/assistant for quite awhile.
- R14 - that's not all she made - that's just 4 years in book sales. She most likely had tens of millions prior to that - she's been a best-selling author for years.
- She's crazy!
- wow, I did not think she would win
- "$10M earnings, after taxes is $5M."
Get a better accountant.
- [quote]They're far from the worst in the evangelical camp, but they do preach "love the sin/hate the sinner" bullshit.
I doubt that Billy Graham & his cohorts preach this.
- I ***love*** lesbian drama!
- [quote] Cornwell had been a friend of Ruth Graham for many years - in fact, Ruth was like a surrogate mother to her. So obviously she grew up knowing the family, and is still close to them. And I'm sure her orientation is no secret to them either
I don't know about that. I read an interview a few days ago while looking up something about her trial. She says she wasn't friends with Billy Graham and really didn't know him. Patricia is so full of shit. No one can believe half of what she says
How does an out lesbian maintain relationships with Billy Graham and Don Imus?
I really don’t consider myself a friend of Billy Graham’s, but his wife was one of the most extraordinary women I’ve ever known. The warmest, most amazing, magical person. I never really knew Billy Graham, and my friendship with his wife had nothing to do with religion. She was just this wonderful lady who lived up the street. As for Don Imus, our personal politics and beliefs may be different, but there’s no reason we can’t talk respectfully to one another, and I think it’s good that we do
Here's another part of an interview where she says she doesn't know Billy Graham
Patricia, talk about your link to Billy Graham and his family.
CORNWELL: Well, that's a strange link and most people completely misunderstand it. It's really -- they were my neighbors when growing up in a little town of Montreat. I didn't know Billy. I mean I would see him occasionally when he came into town. And he was, of course, the most famous man in the world at that time.
But Ruth was the one I knew because she was the one who stayed home and, you know, if I was walking to the tennis courts with my brother's hand me downs on and my little bag of flat tennis balls I fished out of the creek, she would stop and give me a ride. And I got to know her. She's a very kind, wonderful person.
She was my friend. But in terms of the entire context of the Grahams and their organization, I had nothing to do with any of that. It was just the woman on the mountain who I would go visit and who helped me with money and college and did all kinds of wonderful things and became a very special friend.
- All this dish and no mention of Cornwell's "special" relationship with Diane Sawyer? I am shocked, do you hear? SHOCKED.
- What about what she did to the artist Walter Sickert? She tore up one of his great paintings and said he was Jack The Ripper - all total bs!
- Right wing cunt.
- I know rent in New York is expensive but $40,000 a month is just stupid.
- Cornwell and policewoman
There are Daily Mail stories on this too, but I tried to find another paper to link to
- Did someone mention drama?
- I bet you there was some damn fine crab walking going on in THAT estate!