Italian who stole more than a thousand manuscripts escapes from prison | Books & Culture
Filippo Bernardini, who pretended to be others to obtain more than a thousand manuscripts, escaped from prison. A year in prison had been requested against the 30-year-old Italian, but a New York judge said the man had been in pretrial detention for quite a long time.
Bernardini worked in London for the American publisher Simon & Schuster. Between August 2016 and January 2021, he managed to obtain unpublished manuscripts from known and unknown authors. Among the hundreds of victims were Dutch writer Hanna Bervoets, bestselling author Margaret Atwood and actor Ethan Hawke.
The man’s motive remained unclear for a long time. But earlier this month he wrote to the judge that he just wanted to read the books before they came out.
“I never intended to release the manuscripts, and I never did,” Bernardini said. “I wanted to keep the books to myself and be one of the few to read them before they hit the shelves. Sometimes reading them made me feel special and felt like I had a unique connection. with the author.”
The man will not receive a prison sentence, but will have to pay publisher Penguin Random House $88,000 (nearly €82,000) due to legal costs the company incurred in the case .
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