JK Rowling opens up about traumatic miscarriage before having her daughter: ‘Another massive loss’

The author discusses the experience on ‘The Witch Trials of JK Rowling’, a seven-part podcast

Kate Ng
Tuesday 21 February 2023 08:30 GMT
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JK Rowling has reflected on going through a traumatic miscarriage in her twenties, before she gave birth to her daughter Jessica.

Speaking on a new podcast, the Harry Potter author recalled how “hugely traumatic” the miscarriage was, both “physically” and “emotionally”.

The loss came just a year after Rowling lost her mother to illness. She said the Nineties were a decade “infused with loss” for her.

In her appearance on the seven-part podcast The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, hosted by political activist Megan Phelps-Roper, Rowling said she became pregnant “accidentally” a year after moving in with her then-boyfriend.

“While pregnant, he proposed to me. And then I lost the baby,” she recalled. “ I miscarried, which was hugely traumatic. It was traumatic physically and traumatic emotionally, and that was another massive loss. I was certainly not in a balanced state of mind.”

Rowling continued: “When I lost the baby, I do remember having a moment, in my grief for the baby, I do remember having a moment where I thought, ‘So we’re not going to get married. That’s clear, right?’ I’m almost speaking to myself, like, ‘That’s clear Jo, we’re not going to marry this guy’.

“But he was putting huge pressure on me to get married. So I went through with it. And then, became pregnant almost immediately after we were married, which is a joyful thing because I cannot imagine a world without my Jessica. So, in with all the bad, there was an amazing, wonderful thing [that] came out with it and that was my daughter.”

JK Rowling speaks to Megan Phelps-Roper in the new podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling
JK Rowling speaks to Megan Phelps-Roper in the new podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling (Getty)

In the trailer for the podcast, the author addressed the controversy surrounding her stance on transgender rights and said she “never set out to upset anyone”.

Rowling has been at the centre of backlash in recent years for making statements about gender ideology that critics and many in the LGBT+ community have described as “transphobic”.

“What has interested me in recent years, particularly on social media [is when fans say], ‘You’ve ruined your legacy. Oh, you could have been beloved forever, but you chose to say this.’ And I think: ‘You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly’,” she said.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Rowling recalled her experience of sneaking the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone out of her home while preparing to leave her then-husband.

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