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Patricia Cornwell’s legal battle with her former money managers involved helicopters, Elton John tickets, and — last week — a $50 million award from a jury.

Now Cornwell’s journey is ending with a stop-off at Katie, in an episode that airs tomorrow, for the author’s first TV interview since the lawsuit concluded — and EW was on set.

Read highlights from the sit-down, and see a clip from the interview, below.

To begin, Cornwell re-traced pieces of her own investigation into the suspected mismanagement of Evan Snapper, who oversaw her finances: the trouble began after the author dissolved her relationship with Snapper’s firm, Anchin, Block & Anchin.

Despite the money she was making from her crime novels featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell said she felt like it wasn’t accumulating: “In fact, I even went so far to say, ‘You know, money’s just not worth what it used to be, it must be that.’” She says that when tried to get hold of her financial records “the bank would not give me my own bank records without a subpoena.”

Complicating things were the more than 100 boxes of information that Anchin turned over to Cornwell and her wife, Staci Gruber. Their solution? “We would actually piece together what had gone on with our funds, with our business,” Cornwell says.

What they uncovered, Cornwell says, was a “huge amount of recklessness and mismanagement and just not caring.” A civil suit followed, which brought many details of Cornwell’s lavish lifestyle to light, as both sides alleged that the other had misspent the money.

Cornwell says she went through with the suit anyway, knowing how her lifestyle made her look. “I won’t say I’m frugal. That’d be the biggest fiction I ever wrote,” she says, adding that the legal fight was “for everybody.”

What’s more, the author says she learned some valuable advice: “Pay attention to your own business even if you’re not good at it. Make sure you have people around you, you can trust.” And always sign your own checks. But will any of this wind up in Cornwell’s next book?

““Well, I think Scarpetta may find there is some financial mismanagement that could be motive for a crime,” Cornwell says. “She’ll win, too!”

Check local listings or to see when the episode, which also includes segments on avoiding online money scams, airs.

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