As widely covered by the media, JK Rowling has penned a crime novel (The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first in a series) under the pen name “Robert Galbraith”.
As it turns out, Chris Gossage, a lawyer at her law firm Russells, told his wife’s best friend Judith Callegari, who promptly blabbed it to whoever wanted to know in the Twitter universe.
Galbraith/Rowling stated: “I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. 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.”
Needless to say, Russells Solicitors went into “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” mode, apologizing “unreservedly”. In good lawyerly fashion, the firm pointed out that the secret was leaked “during a private conversation” and that “the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling’s agent.”
Rowling reacted to the apology by suing the lawyer and the friend. Her attorney, Jenny Afia, argued in High Court of Justice that her client felt “angry and distressed that her confidences had been betrayed.”
Russells agreed to reimburse Rowling’s legal costs and to make a “substantial” donation to The Soldiers’ Charity, which helps former military personnel and their families.
What do you think – another clever marketing move?