J.K. Rowling files a libel lawsuit against newspaper publishers

WENN, Friday, January 31, 2014, 3:00pm (PST)
  • Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has filed a libel lawsuit against bosses at British newspaper the Daily Mail over a report published last year about her past as a struggling single mother.

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    The writer claims editors attributed a single incident involving one woman, who had visited her local church in Edinburgh, Scotland, to formulate a story about how her fellow church members treated her in a "bigoted, unchristian manner," because she was raising a child on her own.

    Rowling insists the article, titled "How J.K. Rowling's sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered," damaged her reputation and caused her distress and embarrassment, according to The Guardian.

    She is suing executives at the publication over the "misleading and unfair" story, which was published in September.

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    The court documents state, "(They wrote) a knowingly false account of her time as a single mother in Edinburgh ... falsely and inexcusably accusing her fellow churchgoers of behaving in a bigoted, unchristian manner towards her, of stigmatizing her and cruelly taunting her for being a single mother."

    A journalist reportedly contacted Rowling's lawyer before the article was published, but did not give the author an opportunity to comment.

    Rowling is seeking unspecified damages from publishers at parent company Associated Newspapers.

    The article has since been removed from the Daily Mail website. A spokesperson for the publication has declined to comment on the case.

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    It's the latest legal drama for the author. She was awarded damages in July after a British lawyer who outed Rowling as the secret writer of "The Cuckoo's Calling" was fined over the leak.

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