A British law firm has admitted it inadvertently leaked information that author J.K. Rowling had written a novel under a pseudonym — and Rowling says she’s not happy about it.
Russells Solicitors says in a statement that one of its partners, Chris Gossage, told Judith Callegari, a friend of his wife’s, that Rowling used the pseudonym Robert Galbraith to write “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” Callegari then passed on the information to a writer for the Times of London, which did its own investigation before revealing Rowling as the author.
Russells says it apologizes “unreservedly” for the leak.
“Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone [Gossage] trusted implicitly,” the firm says in a statement.
“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.”
In her own statement, Rowling expresses her dismay over the leak. “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,” she says.
“To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. 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 Cuckoo’s Calling” received mostly positive reviews when it was published in April but sold only a handful of copies. Since it was revealed to be Rowling’s work, however, it has shot up the bestseller charts.