Fifty Shades of Grey original publisher ordered to set aside millions over royalties spat

The Writers Coffee Shop sold the rights to the novels to Random House

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The Independent Culture

One of the original publishers of the Fifty Shades series, who was defrauded by her former business partne,r could receive millions following a ruling in the US.

State District Judge Susan McCoy determined that Amanda Hayward must set aside as much as £6.9m ($10.7m) for former business partner Jennifer Pedroza.

In court documents, Ms Pedroza claims her ex-colleague used “chicanery” to cheat her out of her rightful share when their publisher The Writers Coffee Shop sold EL James’ trilogy.

The novels, which became a publishing sensation and spawned a film of the same name, were sold to Random House for $40 million.

Ms Pedroza’s lawyers claim their client is entitled to approximately $10.7 million, as per her 25 per cent stake in the publisher.

Earlier this year a jury ruled in favour of Ms Pedroza’s claim of fraud, finding that Ms Hayward had tricked her partner into signing a restricting agreement that effectively cut her out of subsequent royalties.

 

Robert Kantar, Ms Hayward’s lawyer, said his client plans to appeal. The exact settlement will be worked out once both side reach an agreement, Judge McCoy said.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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