Notable Absences at London Trial
"There were two notable absentees from the court: the third author of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Henry Lincoln, who is taking no part in the action; and Mr Brown's chief researcher, whose habit was to copy, type and hand over to him long extracts from works that she thought might interest him - his wife, Blythe.
Every now and then, in a day of tortuous legal argument about what constitutes "the architecture" of a book, of how plagiarism can be proved in the era of instant information, and of whether a single phrase about the Emperor Constantine being baptised on his deathbed could have copyright, the softly spoken judge, Mr Justice Peter Smith, threw a remark or question into the proceedings that fell like the clonk of a concrete boot.
Quietly he remarked that inferences might be drawn from the absences of Henry Lincoln and Blythe Brown.
Quietly he asked what, precisely, the plaintiffs were seeking as remedy? Did they want, as he had heard suggested on the news, to stop the release of the film? Did they want millions of copies of The Da Vinci Code to be destroyed? Or were they just looking to be paid a licence fee?
Quietly he asked whether Random House was not still selling The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. "Indeed yes," stammered Jonathan Rayner James QC, for the plaintiffs, looking astonished at the question. "Forgive me if I hesitate at your question ... "
"Don't worry," said Mr Justice Smith, quietly. "You'll have a lot more of them before the end of the case."