J.K. Rowling Wins Court Battle Over British Tabloid’s False Claims

2 minute read

J.K. Rowling has been “fully vindicated and her reputation restored” after the British tabloid Daily Mail‘s apologized to the author in London’s high court.

Rowling pursued a successful libel case against the Mail, saying they gave a “false picture” of a September 2013 article she had written for Gingerbread, a U.K. charity that provides support to single parents. In her article, Rowling had described her experience as a single mother in Edinburgh when writing the first Harry Potter book.

The Mail published a story ten days later alleging that Rowling’s “sob story” contained false claims about her time as a single mother and being stigmatized by churchgoers in the 1990s.

In May 2014 the tabloid printed an apology and paid damages but challenged Rowling’s right to give a statement in Court. This was dismissed before a Thursday hearing during which lawyer Keith Schilling read out a two page statement on behalf of Rowling. He noted that Rowling “did not at any point criticise or complain about her treatment at the hands of fellow churchgoers.”

A judge was told that the Mail‘s publisher had now accepted the allegations were “completely false and indefensible”, published an apology and agreed to pay Rowling substantial damages.

Schilling said that the newspaper allegations left the author “understandably distressed” but she was now happy to bring the libel proceedings to a close. He added that Rowling is donating some of the damages to charity, with the rest contributing to her legal costs.


More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Naina Bajekal at naina.bajekal@time.com