Author Dan Brown on Monday defended his book, The Da Vinci Code (and, by extension, the upcoming movie adapted from it), from charges that it stole ideas that formed the basis of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. Taking the stand as essentially the star witness in the case, Brown acknowledged that he used their book as source material but that they also used the writings of many others. "I would like to restate that I remain astounded by the claimants' choice to file this plagiarism suit," he said during testimony. "For them to suggest, as I understand they do, that I have 'hijacked and exploited' their work is simply untrue."