Bluemoose Books publisher Kevin Duffy has decided to abandon plans to publish The Secret Life of Christian Grey by Dominic Cutmore following a threat of litigation from Random House lawyers in New York and London.
Random House has also threatened legal action against the creator of a notebook called Fifty Shades of Gray.
The planned Bluemoose book, purported to have been written by the best friend of E L James’ hero Christian Grey, was to have given the inside track on Grey’s life before he meets Anastasia Steele. Duffy was asked to write a letter to James’ agent, Valerie Hoskins, stating in writing that he would go no further with the project.
The Fifty Shades of Gray notebook contained 200 blank pages which get progressively darker as the book progresses. Random House sent a "cease and desist" letter threatening legal action unless its creator Shed Simove stopped selling the notebook.
Charlotte Bush, director of publicity and media relations at Cornerstone, said: “As publishers of the Fifty Shades trilogy we take protection of the brand very seriously.”
The bestselling trilogy has sparked a series of parody titles, including Fifty Shelves of Grey: A Selection of Great Books Erotically Remastered by Vanessa Parody (Constable & Robinson), which is a collection of erotic pastiches of 50 classics, including Jane Eyre.
Meanwhile, several authorised licensing deals have been signed, including for underwear, with licensing rights being handled by Caroline Mickler Limited.