How JK Rowling's Pseudonym Was Revealed: A Law Firm, A Wife's Best Friend, And An Errant Tweet

The Cuckoos Calling, JK Rowling

J.K. Rowling’s secret identity as crime writer Robert Galbraith, author of the low-selling yet acclaimed “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” was once one of the biggest secrets in publishing, until it was revealed by the Sunday Times last weekend.

But how did the Sunday Times get the scoop? As more information is coming out, we’re beginning to understand the leak’s strange path — a law firm, a wife’s best friend, and an errant tweet.

Today one of London’s leading entertainment law firms, Russells, admitted that an unnamed partner had let the information slip to his wife’s best friend, the Associated Press reports. As we covered this weekend, this person then tweeted Galbraith’s true identity to India Knight, a well-known Sunday Times columnist who had been tweeting about the book. Knight then told her colleague Richard Brooks, the arts editor of the Sunday Times, who used a variety of techniques — including the work of linguistic forensics — to conclude Rowling was the true author of “The Cuckoo’s Calling.”

Russels has clearly been left red-faced by the incident — in a statement that said the firm “apologizes profusely” to Rowling for the leak. Business Insider reached out to the wife’s best friend on Facebook earlier this week for comment, but she has since deleted both her profile and the Twitter account that originally tweeted to Knight.

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