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JK Rowling sues former personal assistant for £24,000 over 'unauthorised shopping sprees'

The author says her former personal assistants used her personal funds to purchase cosmetics and other items

Clémence Michallon
New York
Wednesday 07 November 2018 16:45
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JK Rowling has sued her former personal assistant for £24,000 after the employee allegedly used the author’s personal funds to go on unauthorised shopping sprees.

The writer says Amanda Donaldson, who worked for her from February 2014 to April 2017, spent thousands of pounds on cosmetics and other items, in addition to stealing Harry Potter merchandise, the BBC reported.

Donaldson, 35, was sacked for gross misconduct last year, according to the platform. The former employee, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, has denied Rowling’s& accusations.

According to legal documents, Donaldson wrongly benefited of £23,696.32 in total, both through her spending and appropriating Harry Potter memorabilia.

Donaldson had been given a credit card, which she was meant to use only for business and personal affairs, and was able to access a safe containing foreign funds, the BBC wrote.

The former assistant was asked to submit receipts and statements to accountants once a month, but “discrepancies” appeared in February last year.

Rowling says Donaldson’s unauthorised payments include £1,482 at Jo Malone, the luxury perfume and scented candle brand; £1,636 at Starbucks; £3,629 at Molton Brown, the cosmetics retailer; £2,139 at card shop Paper Tiger, and £823 at Bibi Bakery.

Donaldson is also accused of taking, without Rowling’s ”knowledge or consent”, a £467.56 motorised Hogwarts Express, a £2231.76 Wizard Collection, and a £395 Tales of Beedle The Bard Set.

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Rowling, whose net worth reached £700m according to The Sunday Times's Rich List, published in May this year, also claims Donaldson purchased two cats for £1,200.

Donaldson, who has denied the claims, says the author has “not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages”.

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A spokeswoman for Rowling confirmed that the author has taken legal action against Donaldson.

The case is scheduled for a court date later in the year.

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