Woman claims Stephen King's 'Misery' as her own

PRINCETON, N.J. -- A woman insists that writer King broke into her home and stole the manuscript for the best-selling novel 'Misery,' which won an Academy Award for the woman who starred in the movie as an unbalanced person.

'It's all mine. Every word of it, almost. At least 90 percent of it, ' Anne Hiltner told The Trenton Times Saturday. 'He stole the work from my house. I believe his book is mine.'


King's attorney, Arthur Green, called the claims 'ridiculous' and said Hiltner has been hounding King with letters for 10 years.

Hiltner has filed suit in U.S. District Court claiming the horror and mystery writer broke into her Princeton Township house numerous times in the past two decades and pilfered several manuscripts written by her and her brother.

'He hired people from an adjacent county to enter the home with him, ' Hiltner said. 'It's easy to bribe people.'

King incorporated their drafts into 'Misery,' which was made into an Oscar-winning movie, and several other works, Hiltner alleged.

'Misery' involves a fictional author, Paul Sheldon, who becomes trapped in the home of a crazed fan when his car breaks down. The fan, Annie Wilkes, tortures the author into writing a story she approves of.


Hiltner said she is the model for the Wilkes character. Actress Kathy Bates won an Oscar this year for her portrayal of Wilkes in the movie version of 'Misery.'

'We do not want to be in Stephen King's novels,' Hiltner said.

Local law enforcement officials attest to Hiltner's long-term fixation with King.

Hiltner has frequently complained about King and once claimed that he flew over her house in an airplane equipped with listening devices to eavesdrop on her, said Capt. Elmer Golya of the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.

'She is very sincere about what she says,' Golya said. 'She believes everything she says is truthful.'

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