Rowling to donate royalties to Soldier's Charity

J K Rowling has pledged to donate worldwide publishing royalties from The Cuckoo's Calling to The Soldier's Charity, formerly the Army Benevolent Fund, for a period of three years.

Meanwhile Russells, the legal firm which leaked her identity as the author Robert Galbraith, has also agreed to make a "substantial" donation to the same charity.

Rowling said of her royalties decision: "This donation is being made to The Soldiers' Charity partly as a thank you to the army people who helped me with research, but also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed."

She added: "I always intended to give The Soldiers' Charity a donation out of Robert's royalties but I had not anticipated him making a bestseller list a mere three months after publication (indeed, I had not counted on him ever being there!)."

Major General Martin Rutledge, chief executive of ABF The Soldier's Charity, said the organisation was "absolutely thrilled by the extraordinary generosity of J K Rowling", adding: "This donation will make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of soldiers, former soldiers and their families who are in real need. Her tremendous show of support for The Soldiers' Charity will help remind people of the many sacrifices made by our soldiers, long after any news of Afghanistan has left the front page."

Meanwhile a statement made by law firm Schillings on behalf of the writer, and read in open court in the High Court of Justice today (31st), revealed that defendant Christopher Gossage, the Russells lawyer who leaked the secret of Galbraith's identity to his wife's best friend Judith Callegari, was making a public apology for his actions to the author. Meanwhile Russells had "by way of damages" made a "substantial" donation to The Soldier's Charity and was paying Rowling's legal costs, in return for which Rowling was dropping further action. Callegari, named as "second defendant" and said to have "appreciated that the information was confidential and had been obtained by the First Defendant in confidence", also offered "sincere apologies" for her actions and undertook to the court not to make any further public statements about Rowling or the incident in question.

The statement said Rowling had been left "angry and distressed that her confidences had been betrayed and this was very much aggravated by repeated speculation that the leak had, in fact, been a carefully co-ordinated publicity stunt by her, her agent and her publishers designed to increase sales". The admission that Gossage was responsible had been made to Rowling's agent Neil Blair "a few days" after Galbraith's true identity was revealed on 14th July in the Sunday Times, the statement said.

The Cuckoo's Calling is currently at number two in the Official UK Top 50 bestseller chart. The novel's protagonist is an army veteran turned private investigator named Cormoran Strike.