A sum of US$11.5m has been awarded to a schoolteacher ruled to have been cheated out of her portion of royalties for the sale of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Judge Susan McCoy, a county district judge in Texas, has signed an order awarding Jennifer Pedroza $10,634.587 in royalties, which, combined with pre-judgment interest of $888,643 - accrued since Pedroza sued her business partner in May 2014 - could lead to a $11.5m pay out, according to the Star Telegram.
Pedroza, based in Arlington, Texas, was one of four women - including her business partner Australian Amanda Hawward - who set up the e-publishing business that originally released Fifty Shades of Grey (now published in the UK by Arrow) in 2011, followed by its sequels later that year and in 2012. Named The Writer's Coffee Shop, the e-publishing business was set up just two years before publishing E L James.
Pedroza's business partner, Hayward, was found by a judge in Texas in February last year to have defrauded Pedroza, cutting her out of the profits made by the bestseller. While Pedroza received a one-time payment of $100,000 after the Random House contract was signed in 2012, she wasn't made fully aware of the full terms of the transaction. The novel made at least $40 million for the partners, added the Star-Telegram.
Hayward has been ordered to pay Pedroza’s legal fees, too, totting up to another $1.7 million.
Pedroza's released a statement following the order, saying: “My family and I feel relieved and vindicated with the outcome of the trial and the judgment signed today,” she said.