British author J.K. Rowling has made a boatload of money off of the Harry Potter series, both books and movies.
Too bad she can’t find a lawyer who can keep his mouth shut.
Here’s what happened, according to The Telegraph, a British newspaper:
Since writing the Harry Potter books, Rowling has been staying active as an author, publishing an adult novel called, “The Casual Vacancy.”
She also wanted to try her hand at crime fiction, so she selected a pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, and published a book called “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” But no one knew that.
Earlier this month a Fleet Street columnist named India Knight tweeted that she was enjoying “The Cuckoo’s Calling.”
A follower named Judith Callegari said that the book was “written by JK Rowling.”
Knight asked how she knew.
Callegari: “Friend works for publisher.”
According to The Telegraph, sleuths then went to work, seeking to establish Rowling’s authorship using software that employed “linguistic forensics,” matching patterns of word usage.
Rowling fessed up that she was indeed Galbraith, but it remained a mystery about who spilled the beans.
Who was responsible? He Who Must Not Be Named?
No, enter Rowling’s lawyers. Not to file suit, but to confess themselves. Judith Callegari’s best friend is married to Chris Gossage, a senior lawyer at Russells Solicitors, a firm that represents entertainment figures, including Rowling.
The firm issued a statement: “We apologise unreservedly for the disclosure…”
Gossage had mentioned the authorship to Callegari in “a private conversation” with “someone he trusted implicitly,” the firm said. Gossage “accepted his own culpability,” the firm noted.
Forget Death Eaters. Furious clients may be more dangerous.
Rowling wasn’t buying the apology: “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.”
The Solicitors Regulation Authority won’t say if Russells is the target of breach of confidentiality complaint.
As for Gossage, you can bet he’s looking high and low for an Invisibility Cloak.