After only two enthralling days, it seems that the many-layered drama of sisters Tatiana and Natasha Boncompagni may already be drawing to a close (the public aspect of it, anyway). HarperCollins novelist Tatiana–who is either the socialite descendant of Italian royalty or a scheming fraud, depending on whom you ask–filed suit against her sister Natasha, who was attempting claim credit for portions of Tatiana’s forthcoming Hedge Fund Wives. Natasha countered with a flurry of emails to every media outlet in town detailing the nature of her contributions to the novel, along with a series of attacks on her sister’s character, which included accusations of everything from lying about ancestry to keylogging computers to fakery on the part of Tatiana’s husband, Maximilian Hoover (as in the vacuums). She also directed interested parties to two websites where she had posted excerpts of manuscript in an effort to prove authorship (Tatiana claims that Natasha surreptitiously copied these passages during family visits).
That move led to an emergency hearing yesterday, during which Tatiana filed for a temporary restraining order demanding that Natasha cease "publishing on publicly available Internet web sites any portion of Tatiana Boncompagni Hoover’s previously unpublished Hedge Fund Wives manuscript" and "immediately…disable and remove from publication all web sites, web pages, online imagines and other online materials that contain copies of the Hedge Fund Wives manuscript and/or any portions thereof."
The websites were taken down, but they didn’t go quietly! In an email sent to the Daily Transom last night, an embattled-sounding Natasha wrote:
"Upon my discovery of my sister’s duplicity in misrepresenting to HarperCollins that she was the sole author of "Hedge Fund Wives", I have tried to handle this matter privately, amongst the parties involved. To that end, I submitted the many letters testifying to this fact as evidence in the Emergency Hearing today. These letters were written to my sister, her lawyer and HarperCollins– not an attempt to "barrage" them as she alleges, but as an attempt to resolve this quietly and outside of the public’s eye. I had hoped to avoid a public revelation of the my sister’s well known– and frequent–manipulations of the truth.
Having said that, with my sister’s filing of yesterday, this matter has evolved out of my control and into a public spectacle. The media’s attention that my parents and I have now have had to endure has been endless. Moreover, this has the potential to have extremely damaging repercussions to my career. While I was relieved today that the Financial Times did publish my Letter to the Editor (regarding the current state of America’s economic crisis, sent this past weekend), if this media circus continues I risk losing my professional credibility. It should be noted that while I was at home being hounded by the media yesterday evening, my sister was out partying, basking in the attention.
In closing, I would like to state that in response to the Emergency Hearing regarding Tatiana’s restraining order and temporary injunction, I voluntarily consented to unpublishing the websites (www.hedgefundwives.com and www.hedgefundwives.net) prior to being ordered to do so. I have a legal right to these websites in accordance with the joint Copyright filing of the manuscript under the names of Tatiana and I. That said, it is my intention to make this as little a public drama as possible. Furthermore, as I stated in the Hearing today, I have asked Tatiana’s lawyers to withdraw this suit and let us resolve this matter within our family."
In a follow-up email to the Daily Transom, she added:
"I have been approached by every major network to do an interview on the story– naturally I have not consented and in the cases where I was approached via email, I have not replied. I have no interest in exposing this private matter to further media spectacle as my sister insisted today. By parading these ungrounded emergency motions (i.e. Restraining Order and Emergency Injunction) in Court today, she is wasting the Court’s time when there are much more important matters on which it could be focusing. Frankly, I’m embarrassed and ashamed for her right now more than anything."
Tatiana has been far less communicative. Her lawyer, Alan Fisch of Kaye Scholer LLP, issued a statement to the Daily Transom: "Our client’s pleasure with the court’s order is tempered by the disappointment that litigation was necessary."