The Alabama Securities Commission has announced that they are closing the investigation of elderly abuse concerning famous author Harper Lee following complaints regarding the publication of her new novel.
When it was announced that another Harper Lee novel, a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” would be published, literature enthusiasts and readers across the U.S. rejoiced — briefly. It wasn’t long before people began to question why the reclusive author would choose to publish the novel she wrote over 50 years ago, now.
Allegations of elder abuse quickly arose, and the State of Alabama eventually stepped in to respond to and investigate complaints. Elder abuse happens much more frequently than people think; the elderly are abused at one in three nursing homes in the United States.
The people who are suspicious that the shy and reserved Lee would want to publish the novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman,” say that Lee is not mentally well enough to have knowingly approved the publication. Others say that her mental capacity is intact and that she is lucid enough to be able to have made the decision consciously.
According to the New York Times, state investigators interviewed staff members at the facility she lives in, called the Meadows, and Ms. Lee herself last month.
The parties who are under the most suspicion are Lee’s lawyer and the publisher, HarperCollins.
“We traveled to the nursing home to talk to Ms. Lee at the request of the Alabama Department of Human Resources,” said Steve Feaga, a lawyer with the securities commission. “We have since closed out files on the matter.”
The major concern in this case was financial abuse, for which the Alabama Department of Human Resources usually calls investigations, according to AL.com. However, the investigation found that Ms. Lee is of a sound mind, mentally capable of making decisions, and is aware of the upcoming publication of “Go Set a Watchman.”