Best-selling paranormal fiction author Sherrilyn Kenyon said her husband and his assistant orchestrated a "Shakespearean plot" to poison her over a three-year period in order to collect life insurance money.
In an 81-page lawsuit filed in Williamson County, Tennessee, the writer best known for her Dark-Hunter paranormal romance series alleged years of abuse by her now-estranged husband, Lawrence Kenyon.
Sherrilyn Kenyon claims her husband and his assistant, Kerrie Ann Plump, began feeding her poison-laced food in 2014, which caused "a bevy of mysterious symptoms that her doctor could not explain.”
The lawsuit claims Lawrence Kenyon “stood to gain millions of dollars upon her demise through life insurance and the value of her estate, including her copyrights and trademarks.” He also allegedly took out a life insurance policy for which he was the sole beneficiary.
Sherrilyn Kenyon also alleges her husband engaged in concerted efforts to destroy her career out of "profuse insecurity and insidious jealously" and isolating her from her loved ones, at one point, "in the basement...like a prisoner."
A spokesperson for the Williamson County Sheriff's Office told BuzzFeed News that a detective has been assigned to investigate the allegations, which Sherrilyn Kenyon made in a police report.
According to the lawsuit, Sherrilyn Kenyon fell into "exceptionally frail" health and was often "bedridden and unable to walk without assistance" as her husband and Plump began "taking more and more control over Ms. Kenyon’s food."
Lawrence Kenyon and Plump "would force her to eat [tainted food] and become enraged any time she failed to consume it," the lawsuit says.
The author said she suffered "cysts, alopecia, extreme nausea and vomiting, brittle nails, respiratory distress, bone loss, facial swelling, tongue numbness, disorientation, confusion, peculiar metallic taste in her mouth, vertigo, severe back pain, and tremors" due to the alleged poisoning.
The food frequently caused Sherrilyn Kenyon to choke and vomit, and in one instance in February, her husband allegedly refused to help.
"He did not offer aid or express any concern, even though Ms. Kenyon was clearly turning blue and could not draw breath, not even when she began vomiting on their floor," the lawsuit states. "While their son was in extreme distress for fear of his mother’s life, Mr. Kenyon gave the curt reply, ‘she does this all the time, ignore it.’”
After filing for divorce in March, Sherrilyn Kenyon got tested for toxins and found she had high levels of lithium, tin, barium, platinum, and thorium in her body.
The longer she stayed away from her husband, "the better Ms. Kenyon's health was getting," the lawsuit states, adding that the author is "fully recovered and shows no signs of the mysterious illness that had almost killed her a year ago."
In an Instagram post on her 28th wedding anniversary in August, the writer hinted at the allegations.
"While I thought I was in a happy marriage, the man I believed to be a noble hero had been plotting against me for a very long time while lying to my face," she wrote.
In a statement from his attorney, Sean Aiello, Lawrence Kenyon unequivocally denied the accusations.
"There is no question that Sherrilyn Kenyon is a brilliant fiction writer," Aiello said. "It is apparent, however, that she has irreparably blurred the line between fiction and reality, and these astonishing and unsubstantiated allegations may stand as her best fantasy creation yet."
Aiello called the allegations a "publicity stunt" and said they "do not know whether Ms. Kenyon truly believes these allegations or if she is using this newly filed civil complaint in an attempt to gain an upper hand in the parties’ ongoing divorce proceedings."
A spokesperson for Sherrilyn Kenyon declined to comment beyond the allegations in the lawsuit.
Plump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.