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The Last Unicorn author locks legal horns with his manager

The Last Unicorn has become an American classic, both in its original book form and the film adaptation. (Although the less said about Mommy Fortuna’s disturbing suicide-by-harpy and the enormous boobs tree, the better.) Children and the young at heart continue to be delighted by its whimsical narrative and emotionally affecting characters. Better yet, it’s part of the old guard of children’s entertainment, when not everything required sequels and franchises and breaking one book up into three goddamn films. The story of a lonely unicorn seeking others of her kind has remained pure in its singular incarnation. Instead, the author of the book is treating everyone to a different, but no less American, follow-up: He’s suing the hell out of his manager. It’s a tale everyone can relate to!

According to Vice, Author Peter S. Beagle has filed a lawsuit against his manager Connor Cochran, and it’s a doozy. It includes a host of allegations, including fraud, defamation, and—perhaps most worrying—elder abuse, of both the physical and financial type. (Beagle is 76.) The author claims Cochran has pocketed most of the money from the deals he’s brokered since he started representing Beagle in 2001, when the author was deeply in debt. His claims of abuse include a 2014 publicity tour in which Beagle reportedly only got one 35-hour break during a 29-day slog. It also states that when Beagle’s health required him to cancel a series of pubic appearances in 2015, Cochran forced him to hand write 5,000 apology letters, leaving him in pain.

Cochran, meanwhile, has performed his patriotic duty by immediately counter-suing. The attorney calls Beagle’s suit “frivolous” and “self-contradictory,” claiming Beagle’s girlfriend is actually the one who’s been abusing him, and that the author’s lawyer, Kathleen Hunt, is attempting to take Cochran’s place as his manager. He cites evidence that Beagle’s mental state is “deteriorating,” saying the writer would get people’s names wrong immediately after hearing them, and retold the same story three times during a Q&A session last year. While Beagle asserts his wish to reclaim the copyright to his works, Cochran said he expects the lawsuit to blow over quickly—perhaps by an army of unicorns pouring forth from the sea.

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