Rowling Pseudonym Settlement

J.K. Rowling was offered a public apology in court and received “substantial damages” — in the form of a charitable donation — from UK law firm Russells on July 31, 2013.

Rowling took legal action against Russells because their employee Chris Gossage, then one of Rowling’s attorneys, told his wife’s friend Judith Callegari that Robert Galbraith, author of mystery/crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, was actually J.K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym — a fact that Callegari subsequently leaked on social media site Twitter, leading to speculation in the media and Rowling’s eventual confession of authorship.

Under the terms of the settlement Russells agreed to make a substantial donation to The Soldiers’ Charity and to reimburse Rowling’s new attorneys. Rowling says the donation is “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 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.” She also intends to dedicate any royalties from The Cuckoo’s Calling sales over the next three years to the charity.