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London law firm admits to accidentally outing Rowling as author of The Cuckoo’s Calling

Who was the person who outed J.K. Rowling as the actual author of The Cuckoo’s Calling on Twitter, then disappeared? Turns out it was a friend of the wife of a partner at London law firm Russells Solicitors, the firm admitted Thursday.

Statement from Russells via U.K. book trade publication The Bookseller:

“We, Russells Solicitors, apologize unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact J. K. Rowling.

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 said in a statement:

“I have today discovered how the leak about Robert’s true identity occurred. 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.

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.”

Since the revelation that Rowling wrote Cuckoo under the pseudonym “Robert Galbraith” was revealed, the book has shot up bestseller lists and print copies are scarce as publishers scramble to order more.

10 Responses to “London law firm admits to accidentally outing Rowling as author of The Cuckoo’s Calling

  1. The Cuckoo’s Calling, ever since i heard of this book i am interested in reading it becoz it is written by J.K. Rowling under a fake name. can’t image that she can write something on crime after writing such superb supernatural stuff of Harry Potter. will surely read this as soon as it comes out.

    I preorder my copy from

  2. I’m having fun with this; I googled the story and am going to the different sites and posting a link to the Amazon book. This not only show it’s a lie but how no research was done into the story other than parrot a press release. Took me less than a minute to prove it a fabrication. That means not even that much time was spent to verify the story by the press before reporting it. Absolutely disgusting and pathetic on all counts.

    Note the Date of April 30th, the day of release the publisher clearly identifies Rowling as the author. So how could the lawyer’s wife have let the cat out of the bag?

  3. Peter Hobday

    ‘Someone I did not know, knew before some people I know very well knew’ ….

    … has never struck me as a particularly strong argument. Something not quite right in this silly story. If I ever write a novel (and you can see from my first sentence above how well I would do that) I will do the same ‘leakage launch’. And as Jeff says above, get the posters booked and printed six months ahead.

  4. Jeff Stewart

    If it was ‘accidently’ leaked………..then it was a pretty impressive effort on behalf of the publishers marketing dept to book poster space with London Transport, design the posters and get them printed and then get them installed………all within 72 hours of the news breaking in the Sunday Times……..

    And have the re designed book cover available

    NB….Poster seen on Feltham station 9am Wed 17th

  5. Harry Potter

    That sucks. Rowling wanted to remain anonymous. Too much pressure to perform as herself.

    And a law firm. Wonder how many other atty/client privileges have been violated. You have a chatty partner and a chatty wife. That’s not going to help their reputation.

    • As to your first point, I could see why she would want to do that. Proving yourself on your merit rather than your reputation.

      As to the second point, I totally agree.