JK Rowling suing Daily Mail for libel over single mother story

By Daniel S Levine,

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has filed a libel lawsuit against U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail for a story it published about her time as a struggling single mother. Her attorneys claim that the paper falsely represented what Rowling had written about in an essay last fall.

The story was published back on Nov. 28 and 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.” It was also published in the print edition and was based on an essay Rowling wrote for the Gingerbread website. However, Rowling claims that the Daily Mail and its owner, Associated Newspaper, misrepresented her comments. Her legal team sued for unspecified damages, noting that the story also caused her great embarrassment and hurt her reputation.

Rowling’s attorneys claim that the story insinuated that she had “falsely and inexcusably accused her fellow churchgoers of behaving in a bigoted, unchristian manner towards her, of stigmatising her and cruelly taunting her for being a single mother,” reports The Guardian.

The story claimed that Rowling’s essay revealed that she was taunted by fellow churchgoers regularly. In fact, “she had referred to a single occasion involving a woman who had visited the church one day whilst she was working there,” the lawsuit notes.

Rowling’s team said that a journalist at the Daily Mail did try to contact her, but “failed to put to her or offer any opportunity to comment on the allegations he was proposing to publish.”

The Daily Mail hasn’t commented on the lawsuit, but has already taken the story off its website.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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