JK Rowling sues PA who allegedly used her work credit card to go shopping.
JK Rowling is suing her former PA for £24,000 over claims that she went on shopping sprees with a business credit card.
The Harry Potter author claims Amanda Donaldson, 35, broke strict working agreements to buy items including cosmetics and Harry Potter gifts for personal use.
Donaldson, from Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, worked for Ms Rowling between February 2014 and April 2017, before being dismissed for gross misconduct.
Legal papers lodged at Airdrie Sheriff Court allege that she wrongly benefited to a value of £23,696 by making use of a company credit card. The author is using her married name, Joanne Murray, in the civil action.
Ms Donaldson is said to have been provided with a credit card and claims that all the bills were business-related.
Discrepancies were allegedly picked up in February last year revealing a high volume of personal spending. She was suspended after meeting an accountant to discuss the use of the card.
She is alleged to have spent £823 at Bibi Bakery, £1,482 with the luxury candle company Jo Malone, £264 in Boots, £115 in Costa Coffee and £3,629 with the cosmetic firm Molton Brown.
Ms Rowling is seeking damages for further claims that she spent £2,139 in the card shop Paper Tiger, £1,636 in Starbucks and £235 in Waterstones.
Ms Donaldson, who controlled memorabilia requests from fans, is also said to have used her position to take a Harry Potter “Hogwarts Express” worth £467.56 and a Harry Potter “Wizard Collection” worth £2,231.76.
Ms Donaldson is also said to have taken a Harry Potter “Monster Book of Monsters” worth £47 and two Harry Potter Crystal Ornaments valued at £48. The items were said to have been taken without the “knowledge or consent” of Ms Rowling.
It is claimed that the former PA also bought two cats worth £1,200 and withdrew £400 in cash for a deposit for a restaurant lunch, while the author’s husband, Neil Murray, discovered no deposit had been paid. Ms Rowling has also claimed her former employee took £7,742 in foreign currency.
Ms Rowling alleges she suffered losses as a consequence of fraud perpetrated against her by Ms Donaldson.
Ms Donaldson has denied the claims and says the author has “not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages”.
A spokeswoman for Ms Rowling said: “I can confirm JK Rowling has taken legal action against her former personal assistant, Amanda Donaldson, following her dismissal for gross misconduct involving a substantial breach of trust.”
The civil case is due to return to court next month.