FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Novelist Jude Deveraux told a court in Florida a woman she believed to be a psychic defrauded her with claims she could reunite the writer with her dead son.
The romance writer is the key witness against Rose Marks, 62, of Fort Lauderdale, whom federal agents charge headed up a conspiracy that took clients for $25 million, including $17 million from Deveraux, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
In a saga worthy of its own book, Deveraux testified she gave Marks the money over a period of 17 years, including $1 million for meditations to help the writer achieve a peaceful divorce.
"She said money is energy and money is evil and if I had money in my bank account, I was attracting evil," Deveraux said.
The divorce turned out be complicated and greatly benefited her ex-husband, she testified.
After the writer's 8-year-old son Sam died in an all-terrain vehicle accident, Marks told her "all she saw were flames and I had to keep him out of the flames," Deveraux said.
Marks said she had saved an embryo from the writer's in-vitro fertilization procedure and that a virgin had used the embryo to give birth to Sam's brother. Marks allegedly told her to go to a beach where she would see a woman with a 4-year-old boy who was the "brother."
Marks told Deveraux she would die, assume the body of the woman and be reunited with her child.
Deveraux has written more than 65 romance novels, about half of which have made The New York Times bestseller list.