JK Rowling has accepted a substantial charity donation from the law firm that revealed she was writing under a pseudonym.
The Harry Potter author brought a legal action against Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells Solicitors, and his friend, Judith Callegari.
JK Rowling was revealed as the writer of crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling in a Sunday Times article.
She had published the book under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
JK Rowling’s solicitor told Mr. Justice Tugendhat that Russells had contacted the writer’s agent after the story was published, revealing it was Chris Gossage who had divulged the confidential information to Judith Callegari.
Judith Callegari then revealed the information in the course of a Twitter exchange with a journalist.
JK Rowling has accepted a substantial charity donation from the law firm that revealed she was writing under a pseudonym
The court heard JK Rowling had been “left dismayed and distressed by such a fundamental betrayal of trust”.
Chris Gossage, Judith Callegari and Russells all apologized and the firm agreed to pay the author’s legal costs.
It also agreed to make a payment, by way of damages, to the Soldiers’ Charity, formerly known as the Army Benevolent Fund.
JK Rowling explained that she was donating the money “partly as a thank you to the army people” who helped her with research.
“But also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me an 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,” the author said.
The Cuckoo’s Calling, about a war veteran turned private investigator called Cormoran Strike, had sold 1,500 copies before it was revealed that JK Rowling was its author.
Within hours, the novel rose more than 5,000 places to top Amazon’s sales list.
JK Rowling said she would also be donating all the royalties for the book to the charity.
She said 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!)”.
Major General Martin Rutledge, Chief Executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said they were “absolutely thrilled” by her “extraordinary generosity”.
“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,” Martin Rutledge added.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has secretly written a crime novel – The Cuckoo’s Calling – under the guise of male debut writer Robert Galbraith.
The British author was acclaimed for The Cuckoo’s Calling, about a war veteran turned private investigator called Cormoran Strike.
The book, published in April, has sold 1,500 copies in hardback so far.
Her secret emerged after the Sunday Times wondered how a first-time author could produce such an accomplished work.
JK Rowling said: “I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience.
“It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
JK Rowling has secretly written crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling under the guise of male debut writer Robert Galbraith
One reviewer described The Cuckoo’s Calling as a “scintillating debut”. Another praised the male author’s ability to describe women’s clothes.
A clue that JK Rowling was behind the novel was that she and “Robert Galbraith” shared an agent and editor.
The book was published by Sphere, part of Little, Brown Book Group which published JK Rowling’s foray into writing novels for adults, The Casual Vacancy.
There were also similarities in style between The Cuckoo’s Calling and JK Rowling’s other works.
JK Rowling said her editor, David Shelley, had been “a true partner in crime”.
Crime writer Peter James told the Sunday Times: “I thought it was by a very mature writer, and not a first-timer.”
The fictitious Robert Galbraith was supposed to have been a former plain-clothes Royal Military Police investigator who had left the armed forces in 2003 to work in the civilian security industry.
In previous interviews, JK Rowling has said she would prefer to write novels after Harry Potter under a pseudonym.
Another Cormoran Strike book by Robert Galbraith is in the pipeline, to be published next year.
J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author, has announced her first adult novel will be called The Casual Vacancy.
J.K. Rowling revealed in February that she was working on the book, and said it would be “very different” from her previous material.
The new book will be published worldwide in hardback, e-book and as an audio download and CD on 27 September.
“The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me,” J.K. Rowling said.
J.K. Rowling has announced her first adult novel will be called The Casual Vacancy
The story is centred on the death of Barry Fairweather, whose unexpected passing shocks the local villagers of Pagford.
Publishers Little, Brown & Co said: “Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.”
The publisher describes the tale as being “blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising”.
More than 450 million copies of J.K. Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide.
The novels, about a boy wizard who survives the attack that kills his parents, became a worldwide phenomenon and were turned into eight blockbuster films starring Daniel Radcliffe.
When the final installment of the book series went on sale in 2007, thousands of copies sold in minutes.