J.K. Rowling settles out of court for pseudonym reveal – donates money to charity
We have been covering this story from day one as to just how Rowling’s cover had been blown when it was discovered that a Surrey mother, Judith Callegari, released this information to a Sunday Times reporter. Callegari is a friend to the wife of attorney Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells Solicitors who was entrusted with the secret identity. The reveal left Rowling feeling “dismayed and distressed by such a fundamental betrayal of trust.”
Ms. Rowling has filed a lawsuit against the law firm for a Breech of Confidentiality. It is now revealed by the BBC that the case has been settled out of court. The firm Russells has agreed to pay the author’s legal fees, and also to make a substantial payment, by way of damages, to the Soldiers’ Charity, formerly known as the Army Benevolent Fund.
In addition to this, Rowling stated that she would also be donating all of the royalties for The Cuckoo’s Calling to the charity. Major General Martin Rutledge, chief executive of the charity, said they were “absolutely thrilled” by her “extraordinary generosity.” He added, “This donation will make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of soldiers, former soldiers and their families who are in real need. Her tremendous show of support for The Soldiers’ Charity will help to remind people of the many sacrifices made by our soldiers, long after any news of Afghanistan has left the front page.”
J.K. Rowling also stated that she had “always intended to give The Soldiers’ Charity a donation out of Robert’s royalties but I had not anticipated him making the bestseller list a mere three months after publication (indeed, I had not counted on him ever being there!)”
The money was donated to the Soldiers’ Charity partly as a “thank you” to the army for helping with her research but also because the research itself provided a “greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed.”
This lawsuit was settled incredibly fast, which just goes to show how embarrassing this was to the Russells Solicitors law firm.