Friday, July 19, 2013

J.K. Rowling 'very angry' at the law firm that leaked her pseudonym info

J.K. Rowling's leaker has been identified. The source of the information that outed the "Harry Potter" author as Robert Galbraith, the debut writer of “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” was her own law firm, it was revealed Thursday.

Russells is the firm behind the leak. Twitter was the venue by which it ultimately reached the media, and then the public.

On Thursday, the firm admitted that Chris Gossage, one of its partners, had told his wife's best friend that the book, published in April, was actually written by Rowling.

Judith Callegari, the friend in question, revealed the information to a columnist for The Sunday Times of London on Twitter exchange last week, but then promptly deleted her tweets. Naturally, The Sunday Times didn't let the matter "be deleted," though.

Instead, it investigated further, then contacted Rowling with its findings. She admitted to using a pseudonym to write the book, and the paper published the information on Sunday. It wasn't until Thursday that the secret of who leaked her ID was revealed.

In a statement its released on Thursday, Russells apologized “unreservedly” for the SNAFU:
Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified J. K. Rowling’s agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither J. K. Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.
Rowling, for her part, expressed great anger at the law firm. Her publicist released a statement that said:
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.

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.
Amazon.com's page for the book now lists both Galbraith and Rowling as authors. There is also a small blurb that says:
The Secret's Out:

In The Cuckoo's Calling, originally published under the pseudonym "Robert Galbraith," J.K. Rowling has turned her unparalleled imagination to detective fiction. Available immediately on Kindle.
It's also taken to advertising the book as J.K. Rowling's latest -- despite it being months old -- on its main book page.

It also now sits atop Amazon.com's bestsellers list, where it has apparently been sitting since Rowling was outed.

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