Six reporters, photographers and media chiefs are to be tried for invasion of privacy over topless photos of Kate Middleton

In a beautiful written piece for the New York Times, Trevor Noah paints a picture of his childhood with his mother

JK Rowling's alter ego mystery solved

2013-07-19 13:58
London - The mystery has been solved.

A British law firm admitted on Thursday that one of its partners inadvertently revealed that JK Rowling had authored a mystery novel, The Cuckoo's Calling.

The Sunday Times newspaper revealed over the weekend that the Harry Potter author had penned the book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

The newspaper said it had received a tip-off on Twitter, and there was speculation that Rowling or her publisher were behind the revelation — which has sent sales of the thriller skyrocketing.

But law firm Russells said Thursday that one of its partners, Chris Gossage, had let the information slip to his wife's best friend, Judith Callegari — the woman behind the tweet. Her Twitter account has now been deleted.

'Not part of any marketing plan'

A phone message left for Callegari was not immediately returned.

Russells said in a statement that "we apologise unreservedly" to Rowling.

It said that while Gossage was culpable, "the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly".

Russells, a specialist in entertainment law, said it had informed Rowling and her agent once it learned what had happened.

"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," the statement said.

The Cuckoo's Calling had garnered good reviews but sold in the hundreds of copies since being published in April, ostensibly as the first novel of a former soldier. Since Rowling was outed as the author, it has topped best-seller lists, with publisher Little, Brown and Company commissioning a new printing of 300 000 copies.

'I feel very angry'

The Sunday Times followed up its tip-off by asking language experts to compare the style of The Cuckoo's Calling to work by Rowling and leading crime writers.

Patrick Juoma, a computer science academic at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, used specialist style-comparison software to identify Rowling as the likely author.

Rowling said that "only 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," she added. "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."

Read more on:    jk rowling  |  books  |  celebrities publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Recent News

Six reporters, photographers and media chiefs are to be tried in France for invasion of privacy over topless photos of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge. Read More »

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed how her daughter, Princess Charlotte, has inherited the British royal family's love of horses. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.