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Sunday, 17 February 2013
Top crime writer revealed to have had lesbian affair with policewoman
America’s queen of crime-writing Patricia Cornwell enjoyed an intense affair with one of Britain’s most acclaimed female police officers, documents filed in a US court case have revealed.
The author is quoted as saying that she ‘once had a relationship’ with Caroline Nicholl, now a renowned criminologist.
The affair began when Ms Nicholl, then a young chief superintendent with Thames Valley Police, invited Cornwell to do research for her books in Milton Keynes.
Old flames: Patricia Cornwell, right, is quoted as saying that she ‘once had a relationship’ with Caroline Nicholl, left, now a renowned criminologist
Last night, Ms Nicholl, 57, who is currently working as a consultant to the US government, confirmed to The Mail on Sunday that they dated 17 years ago. ‘Yes, we did have a relationship. It lasted a matter of months,’ she said. ‘We must have seen each other probably no more than ten times.
‘She was very smart, self-effacing and charming, and she clearly was enamoured that I was a police chief. She thought the uniform was amazing.
‘We were introduced by a police contact who was a mutual friend. I didn’t know who she was. I’d never read any of her books. So I was expecting an old biddy or something.
‘The next time we met was when she was on a book tour in London. I invited her up to Milton Keynes because she liked to do research. She was smitten with me and I was smitten with her.’
Ms Nicholl has been dragged into the proceedings in the District Court in Boston in which 56-year-old Ms Cornwell is suing financial managers Anchin, Block & Anchin, claiming they improperly invested millions that she entrusted to them.
Gay affair: Patricia Cornwell, a specialist in forensic novels, poses in her home in New York
The firm claims that she squandered the money. The defence filed an exchange of 2008 emails in which Ms Cornwell allegedly asked an American police officer to conduct ‘checks’ on Ms Nicholl.
In one she wrote: ‘I have a few names of people who we should be “aware” of in terms of them being a problem/threat to me . . .’
The list was headed by Ms Nicholl. ‘I once had a relationship with her that ended badly,’ it read. ‘I cut her off and wouldn’t have anything to do with her.’
Ms Nicholl told The Mail on Sunday that she was shocked by the email.
‘I don’t understand anything that I could have done to precipitate this,’ she said.
‘The last time I saw her was in 1996. It’s accurate that she broke it off. She didn’t give a reason.’