J.K. Rowling sues Daily Mail for libel over 'sob story'

By Jenna Iacurci, Parent Herald April 16, 04:01 pm

J.K. Rowling is suing the Daily Mail for libel after the website claimed the author wrote a misleading "sob story" in which she said she was taunted by churchgoers for being a single mother.

The paper admitted liability under the "offer of amends" procedure in the Defamation Act because of the Sept. 27, 2013 article. Justice Tugendhat has yet to decide the cost of damages the Daily Mail will pay Rowling.

The article, headlined "How JK Rowling's sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered," misinterpreted a piece Rowling wrote 10 days earlier on the Gingerbread website.

Her lawyers say that the story suggested she had "given a knowingly false account of her time as a single mother in Edinburgh," according to the Press Gazette.

The "Harry Potter" author wrote on Gingerbread: "I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life."

The court filing states that she had not "accused her fellow churchgoers of 'stigmatizing' or 'cruelly taunting' her." Instead, "she had referred to a single occasion involving a woman who had visited the church one day whilst she was working there," The Guardian reported.

It further states that a reporter did contact Rowling about the pending story, but did not give her sufficient time to react to the allegations before splashing it on two pages of the paper.

Rowling's lawyers say the debacle damaged her reputation and caused her great embarrassment.

On Jan. 21, the Daily Mail offered to make peace with the "Casual Vacancy" author.

But the Daily Mail did get one thing right. According to the same website, Rowling is set to release the crime novel "Silkworm" under the alias Robert Galbraith June 19th. The book is a sequel to the No. 1 bestseller "The Cuckoo's Calling."

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