J K Rowling wants ‘absurd’ claim dismissed by the court
18.02.10 | Philip Jones
J K Rowling has said that she intends to apply to the court to have a claim of plagiarism made against her by the estate of the late Adrian Jacobs dismissed on the grounds that it is without merit. She described the accusation “as not only unfounded but absurd” and said she was ” “saddened that yet another claim” has been made about the source of the Harry Potter books.
Rowling was cited overnight alongside her UK publisher Bloomsbury in a lawsuit originally made public in June on behalf of the estate of Jacobs, who died in 1997. The claim alleges that Rowling borrowed ideas from the previously unknown book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard. Bloomsbury dismissed the allegations as “unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue” back in June.
In a statement released through her publicist, Rowling said she had never heard of the author or the book before an initial approach was made in 2004, and had “certainly never read the book”.
The statement read: “I am saddened that yet another claim has been made that I have taken material from another source to write Harry. The fact is I had never heard of the author or the book before the first accusation by those connected to the author’s estate in 2004; I have certainly never read the book.
“The claims that are made are not only unfounded but absurd and I am disappointed that I, and my UK publisher Bloomsbury, are put in a position to have to defend ourselves. We will be applying to the court immediately for a ruling that the claim is without merit and should therefore be dismissed without delay.”
In 2002 Rowling successfully defended herself against a plagiarism claim made by children’s author Nancy Stouffer. In that case the judge fined Stouffer $50,000 for making the claim saying she committed a fraud.