Readersforum's Blog

August 1, 2013

JK Rowling accepts damages from law firm that revealed her secret identity

callingJK Rowling has accepted damages at London’s High Court from a law firm which outed her as a crime author, after one of its lawyers confided her secret identity to his wife’s best friend.

By Alice Philipson

The Harry Potter author brought proceedings against Chris Gossage, who works for law firm Russells, and a friend of his, Judith Callegari.

Her solicitor, Jenny Afia, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that Rowling was revealed in the Sunday Times as the writer of crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was published under the name of Robert Galbraith.

A few days later, Russells contacted her agent disclosing that it was Mr Gossage who had divulged the confidential information to his wife’s best friend, Ms Callegari, during a private conversation. Ms Callegari later revealed the news in a public Twitter message to a Sunday Times journalist

Ms Afia said that Ms Rowling, who was not in court, “has been left dismayed and distressed by such a fundamental betrayal of trust”.

Mr Gossage, Ms Callegari and Russells all apologised, with the firm agreeing to reimburse Ms Rowling’s legal costs and make a payment, by way of damages, to the Soldiers’ Charity, formerly the Army Benevolent Fund.

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