Wigging out as the alibis abound

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It’s always nice when a plot thickens and with Cuckoo’s Calling there seems no end. The latest report on how JK Rowling was outted boils down to this:

Paul Calegari is senior partner at K&L Gates. This team attracts the respect of the business community for its advice on a range of matters including boardroom disputes and strategic issues. Paul counts AOL and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among his clients.

Paul has a wife Judith Callegari. Judith is friends with Mrs Gossage. Mrs Gossage is married to Mr Chris Gossage.

Chris Gossage is a lawyer at Russells Solicitors, the firm that represents JK Rowling. Russells stands out for its extremely strong music practice and garners high praise for its skill in negotiating lucrative deals. Chris has built a profile in the market as a “a good executor” on the transactional side.

Chris told his wife’s best friend, Judith, in a “private conversation” that JK Rowling was the author because Judith was someone he “trusted implicitly.”

What’s great about this story is how waffly it its. Chris is telling Judith, not his wife. Chris’s wife didn’t know. She didn’t happen to tell her BFF, who then spilt the beans. So Chris and Judith are . . . close?

Then there’s Russells statement:

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.

While Russells apologizes “unreservedly,” they then go on to make the excuse that Chris violated attorney-client privilege because he trusted Judith implicitly. That doesn’t make it less a breach of ethics. In fact, it just makes it worse. Too, all this waffle makes it sound like they’re just trying to avoid saying Chris was having an affair with Judith.

What we don’t hear is that Chris Gossage is being struck off the rolls (that’s English for disbarred). In fact, we don’t even hear the word “fired.”  Interesting.

JK Rowling has said

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.

But she has not indicated she’ll be removing her business from Russells or suing them for damages. Interesting. (Although, good luck proving she was “damaged” by this revelation.)

Judith Callegari has pulled down her Facebook page. Probably wise, though it’s hard to imagine anyone would want to attack her for outting JK Rowling. She apparently didn’t do it for money. But in a way, that make this just her outting Rowling that much more interesting.

As a lawyer’s wife, and “friend” of a lawyer, she must have known what she was doing was unethical. She must have known it would hurt her family, her friend, her . . . whatever Chris is to her, not to mention all the law firms involved. And yet when she tweeted this news, it was @JudeCallegari. In other words, she made it very easy to be “discovered” by the legal teams (particularly Chris) which she knew would be hunting for the “leak.”

Is Judith an attention seeker? A JK Rowling fan? Was she trying to hurt or ruin Chris? Trying to end her marriage (and possibly Chris’s)? Or maybe she was just doing as she was asked?

It’s difficult to believe it’s all “as stated.” Yes, people can do stupid things. But not  typically when the people are senior partners (or their wives) at law firms with a lot to lose. And not typically when it involves the best entertainment firm in the UK representing the highest grossing author of all time. So, did Russells arrange this leak? Lawyers really don’t mind getting their hand dirty for a good client. If the leak is tracked back to JK Rowling’s own law firm, that’s far better than a track back to the author, her agent, or her publisher.

Russells goes out of it’s way to state it was all accidental on their part.

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.

It sounds like a love triangle gone terribly wrong that inadvertently exposed JK Rowling. But who can really say. The public is left with a mystery — even as the sales figures for Russells’ client’s book continue to climb. Readers will still have to decide for themselves whodunit, why, and whether The Cuckoo is worth the calling.

Published in: on July 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM  Comments (1)  
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Books: Art, Culture, Entertainment, or not even a blip on your radar?

In London’s Guardian you find Books listed under Culture. Just after Art & design, but before Film, Music, Stage, and TV & radio

In the NY Times, you’ll find Books listed under Arts. And following Books in the same group Art & Design, Dance, Movies, Music, Television, Theater and Video Games.

In the LA Times, you’ll find Books listed under Entertainment, at the very end of a list that begins with Movies, TV, Celebrity (really, that’s a category) . . . and continues on with Arts & Culture, Industry (the entertainment industry), Awards, and Calendar.

Alternatively, you can find Books under the LA Times category Living as well, after Home, Food, and Image (you  read the correctly) but before Parenting (we kid you not).

In Seattle‘s Times, a very bookish place, Books reside in the Entertainment section at the very bottom of a list that begins Restaurants, Movies, Music & Nightlife, The Arts, Books.

And CNN? Doesn’t even recognize Books, unless you count Facebook. The section called Entertainment is strictly of the Movie/TV/Celebrity gossip variety.

We want to point up that there are people who are passionate about books everywhere, but that not every area values books equally. A place can be amazingly rich in culture, just not extremely bookish. That’s cool. But take a moment today to ask yourself, where would you place Books?

Are Books first on your list? As in NY, where they’re Arts. Or last as in LA or Seattle, where their low-rent entertainment. Are Books part and parcel of your Culture, as in London, or something you don’t even think about (CNN!)?

Published in: on November 16, 2011 at 5:05 AM  Leave a Comment  
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