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Hoover heir’s wife sues sister over novel

The wife of an heir to Hoover appliances sued her sister on Monday, accusing her of stealing credit for her new novel, "Hedge Fund Wives," and releasing stolen chapters of the book onto the Internet.
/ Source: Reuters

The wife of an heir to Hoover appliances sued her sister on Monday, accusing her of stealing credit for her new novel, "Hedge Fund Wives," and releasing stolen chapters of the book onto the Internet.

The novel by socialite and freelance writer Tatiana Boncompagni Hoover, wife of Max Hoover, is due to be published by HarperCollins Publishers, a unit of News Corp, in May 2009.

Hoover alleges that her older sister, Natasha Boncompagni, misrepresented herself as the novel's co-author after stealing a copy of the manuscript from Hoover's personal computer while visiting her New York apartment.

The novel has two active copyrights, according to the U.S. Copyright Office Web site. Boncompagni obtained joint copyright protection in September for herself and her sister, and, in October, Hoover obtained an exclusive copyright for the novel.

An "exclusive excerpt" of the novel is available on a Web site, Hedgefundwives.com, which names the sisters as co-authors of the book, which details the lives of the "newly minted rich."

But according to Hoover, the two women were never co-authors. She said that Boncompagni learned about the book during family gatherings.

Boncompagni could not immediately be reached for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, asks for a declaration that Hoover is the sole author, an injunction against Boncompagni's further use of the manuscript and money damages.

Earlier this year, HarperCollins published Hoover's first novel, "Gilding Lily," about a New York socialite.

Hoover appliances, which manufactures vacuum cleaners for home and commercial use, is owned by Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.