Jacquelyn Mitchard's family fell victim to a financial scammer

By Alex Heigl
Updated March 18, 2016 01:45 PM
Credit: Stefano Paltera/AP

Do you remember Jacquelyn Mitchard, the first author selected for Oprah’s Book Club? Her debut novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was published in June 1996, and Oprah-endorsed in September of that year, which helped it rocket to the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Mitchard from there: 13 years after the success of The Deep End of the Ocean, Mitchard received a nightmarish phone call: All of her bank accounts – including funds set aside for her children’s college education, were empty.

Mitchard’s husband had hired a financial advisor, who, as it turned out, was something more: A full-time con man. He cost Mitchard her dream home, her savings, and her peace of mind.

“Everything, all the money is gone,” Mitchard, 64, says in a preview clip. She reveals how she, her husband and their nine children were on food stamps at one point.

But Mitchard continued to write through it all, and is promoting a new book, Two If By Sea. Catch up with her on Saturday at 10 p.m. EST on OWN.