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.