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New Harper Lee Novel Sparks Elder Abuse Investigation

Elder abuse is a serious matter, and no one is immune to it. Not even a famous, award-winning novelist like Harper Lee, who authored To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lee, who is now 88 years old, is set to release her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, which she actually wrote over 50 years ago. While the news of a second novel set-off a buzz on social media, many Mockingbird fans expressed skepticism on the reasons behind the release.

Lee currently resides in an assisted living facility and is said to be in declining health – is it possible that she could have notknowingly consented to the release of the second novel? The New York Times recently reported that there is at least one complaint of elder abuse at Lee’s assisted living facility connected to the book’s release, and Alabama state officials are now investigating the claims.

Officials interviewed Lee in February, as well as employees of her assisted living facility and some of her friends following the unspecified complaint tied it to the publication of Go Set a Watchman.

Allegedly, Lee “appeared capable of understanding questions and provided cogent answers to investigators," according to the Times report. However, writer Marja Mills wrote a book chronicling the 18 months she spent living next to Lee. Alice Lee, Harper Lee’s elder sister, added to Mills’ transcript that Harper, “doesn’t know from one minute to the other what she’s told anybody.”

For her part, Harper Lee has yet to speak directly to reporters about the new novel or about her mental state. The closest she has come to commenting on either is in a two-word statement she gave after receiving a letter from an Alabama reporter: “Go Away!”

Fausone Bohn, LLP Michigan Elder Abuse Attorneys can help you and your family with your elder abuse claim. If you feel that your parents or grandparents have been subject to abuse, coercion, or fraud at a nursing home or an assisted living facility, give us a call today at 248-468-4536.


And in the Washington Post:


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