J.K. Rowling Wins Libel Lawsuit Against ‘Daily Mail’: Will Donate ‘Substantial’ Damages Received To Charity

J.K. Rowling says she has finally been “vindicated” after winning a bid to make a public statement about her libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail in London’s High Court. Rowling had already received a public apology and “substantial” damages from the publication back in May, 2014, but the publication did not want Rowling’s statement read in the court as part of the libel settlement. The author now feels “vindicated” after her two-page statement was read in the High Court on Thursday by solicitor Keith Schilling on her behalf. Rowling received “substantial” damages from the Daily Mail after winning the libel lawsuit, but says the money will go to good causes. She has said she will use the money to pay her lawyer fees and then donate the rest to charity.

According to the BBC, J.K. Rowling took the U.K. publisher to court after a story was posted about her “sob story” as a single mother patronized by church-goers. There was only one problem with the story: Rowling says it was entirely false and misleading. Rowling claims that the “sob story” discussed in the Daily Mail was “premised on a false picture” of an article she had written 10 days earlier for single parents’ charity Gingerbread. The libel lawsuit claimed that the publication knowingly printed the false report and refused to remove the article after Rowling contacted them about the discrepancies.

The Huffington Post reports that the Daily Mail has not denied the allegations in court and has noted the report was “completely false and indefensible.” As a result, the Daily Mail published a public apology regarding the article and has promised to do all in their power not to repeat the offense. However, in Rowling’s two-page statement read in the High Court, it became apparent that the quest for a public apology did not come easy for the famous author.

“Following publication of the Article, the Claimant [J.K. Rowling], through her solicitors, wrote to the Defendant [Daily Mail] requesting only that the online Article be removed and a sufficient apology published. The Defendant refused to remove the Article or apologise and denied that the Article was even capable of defaming the Claimant for several months.”

Ultimately, after legal action was taken against the publication, a public apology was made that helped “vindicate” Rowling.

“Our September 28, 2013 article “How JK’s sob story about her single mother past surprised and confused the church members who cared for her”/”How JK’s sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered” suggested that JK Rowling had made a knowingly false and inexcusable claim in an article for the Gingerbread charity that people at her church had stigmatised her and cruelly taunted her for being a single mother. In fact Ms Rowling recounted only one incident where a visitor to the church stigmatised and taunted her on a particular day. We accept that Ms Rowling’s article did not contain any false claims and apologise for any contrary suggestion and have agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Rowling, which she is donating to charity, and a contribution to her legal costs.”

With her public statement read aloud in High Court, J.K. Rowling says she is “happy to bring these proceedings to a close” and feels “fully vindicated” after receiving the public apology and damages, which will be donated to charity.

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