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Events leading up to the “Cuckoo’s Calling” leak revealed

A clear narrative is beginning to surface regarding events leading up to the recent leak and subsequent hysteria surrounding author Robert Galbraith’s true identity (J.K. Rowling) as author of The Cuckoo’s Calling.

One of the final pieces to the puzzle was the identity of the mysterious Twitter user who tipped off the reporter at The Sunday Times. Early speculation was pointed at a member of the publishing team, or perhaps Rowling herself using a fake account. However, The London Evening Standard has reported that the source of the tip was not anyone connected to the book at all; instead, it was reportedly “Judith Callegari…Surrey mother of two.”

We also learned how she reportedly came by this information thanks to the Twitter account of Lizo Mzimba, a reporter for the BBC, who tweeted the following statements from J.K. Rowling and Russells Solicitors.

We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure…caused by one of our Partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact JK Rowling. Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure…was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling’s…agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither JK Rowling…her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.

In light of this information, it seems that Mrs. Callegari received the information from Mr. Gossage at Russells Solicitors in confidence, which she then broke when she informed The Sunday Times. This prompted The Sunday Times to do some digging, which revealed the book’s true author.

From Rowling:

I have today discovered how the leak about Robert’s true identity occurred…A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of… prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know…To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells…a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.

This story, in full, highlights the importance of caution and absolute discretion when dealing with matters of confidence, in an industry where heavy sales figures are related to every piece of information. This presents a Catch-22 scenario for Harry Potter fans. If it weren’t for Mrs. Callegari, several million readers would not currently be enjoying The Cuckoo’s Calling, J.K. Rowling’s latest book. However, had Rowling and her team revealed the information themselves, they no doubt would have disclosed the secret at a more strategic, opportune time (for sales and other considerations). Perhaps, even, distributors and book resale shops would have been stocked more adequately for such a reveal. Instead, the book is out of print and a second run is being rushed, and consequentially hard copies of the book are near impossible to find.

Have you received your copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling yet? Tell us in the comments!

Alison Siggard

Alison is a Gryffinpuff and probably what Hermione Granger would be like in real life, from bossiness to reliance on books to bushy brown hair. She is a teacher, writer, traveler, and a lover of all kinds of stories and storytelling. She is MuggleNet's staff coordinator and a host on Alohomora!