Wilbur Smith drops lawsuit

2002-04-04 08:17
Denver - Adventure writer Wilbur Smith has dropped a federal lawsuit against his stepson for allegedly stealing his personal papers but plans to file a similar complaint in state court.

Smith's lawyer, Alan Friedburg, said on Wednesday the stepson is in Colorado on a student visa and could not be sued in federal court.

Smith, who lives in London and South Africa, has written 25 novels about Africa and Egypt, including When the Lion Feeds.

The lawsuit accused Dieter Kurt Thomas Schmidt of Englewood of stealing and publicising personal information about his stepfather to gain access to the family fortune and hurt the author's reputation.

Schmidt has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit said the information led to embarrassing exposes in English and South African newspapers.

According to the lawsuit, Schmidt, who is studying for his medical board exams in Colorado, is the son of Wilbur Smith's third wife.

After Schmidt's mother died in 1999, the author claimed, Schmidt ransacked his personal papers and computer because he was worried about losing his $5 000-a-month allowance.

The federal lawsuit sought $30 million in damages for fraud, theft and malicious invasion of privacy. - Sapa-AP


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2010-11-21 18:15

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