The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has slammed allegations he plagiarised the best-seller's plot as "completely fanciful" and is "astounded" by the current copyright wrangle. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have taken Brown to London's High Court, insisting he ripped off their The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail. However, Brown says Baigent and Leigh are two of many writers who have written about the theory that Jesus Christ didn't die on the cross, but lived to have children with Mary Magdalene, whose descendants live to this day. Brown says in a statement: "I have been shocked at their reaction. Furthermore I do not really understand it. "Yet I went out of my way to mention them for being the ones who brought the theory to mainstream attention. "I would like to restate that I remain astounded by the claimants' choice to file this plagiarism suit. For them to suggest, as I understand they do, that I have hijacked and exploited their work is simply untrue." In court yesterday (13MAR06), Brown said he and his wife BLYTHE met with numerous sources while researching The Da Vinci Code. He said, "On the way, we met with historians and other academics and extended our travels from the Vatican and France to England and Scotland in order to investigate the historical underpinnings of the novel." The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail's third author, Henry Lincoln, is not involved in the legal action because of ill health. The Da Vinci Code has been adapted for the big screen by Ron Howard. The case continues.