Hard to believe, but the JK Rowling aka Robert Galbraith story has finally come to a conclusion, sort of.
One Weds, JK Rowling took her law firm, Russells, to court and won a judgement against them. Russells has agreed to make a large donation to The Soldiers’ Charity, at Rowling’s request, and has apologised publicly for the indiscretion.
Nowhere does it mention JK Rowling leaving Russells or the offending lawyer Christoper Gossage, being disbarred or even censured. However, the lawyer appearing for JK Rowling — Jenny Afia, is from Schillings law firm. So that does seem to indicate a shift in business.
Rowling, who was not in court for the hearing, said in a statement: “This donation is being made to The Soldiers’ Charity partly as a thank you to the army people who helped me with research, but also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed.
“I 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!).”
Of course, within that statement is the implication she spoke with “army people” as part of her research for the book. This rather implies that she went to Army soldiers and officers and said “Hey I’m doing research and would you mind . . . .” That statement implies at least a few Army personnel knew she doing research for a new book and any one of them could have mentioned it.
Too, it flies in the face of previous statements that Rowling made saying only told a “handful” of her most trusted advisers knew that she wrote a crime novel. Yes, maybe only a handful knew she was Robert Galbraith. But if she was talking to Army personnel doing research, people beyond the “handful” had to know she was writing a new book which featured some sort of Army connection.
Rowling’s lawyer told the court that Rowling was “angry and distressed that her confidences had been betrayed and this was very much aggravated by repeated speculation that the leak had, in fact, been a carefully coordinated publicity stunt by her, her agent and her publishers, designed to increase sales.”
Aggravating maybe, but completely understandable. Especially when one takes into consideration the fact that other publishing houses had rejected the novel as “good, but not good enough to a launch new author” and she ended up back at her old publisher instead of taking the book apart and trying to make it worthy of new author publication before submitting it again.
Solicitors for Gossage and Callegari said they had offered their sincere apologies to Rowling and legally undertaken “not to make any further public statements about this incident or the claimant.” Putting a lid on the matter once and for all.
Rowling will donate the equivalent of three years’ worth of royalties from The Cuckoo’s Calling to The Soldiers’ Charity. “It’s a not insignificant amount. We’re over the moon,” said a spokesman for the charity. So, all’s well that ends well. And hopefully, Rowling has learned to avoid pen names from now on. But don’t count on it!