J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the “Harry Potter series, claims her former personal assistant, Amanda Donaldson, broke strict working rules by using her funds to buy cosmetics, gifts and Harry Potter merchandise for personal use.
Ms. Donaldson, 35, worked as a PA for the writer between February 2014 and April 2017, before being fired for gross misconduct.
Legal papers filed at Airdrie Sheriff Court allege that Donaldson wrongly benefited to a value of £23,696.32 by spending on a business credit card and taking Harry Potter merchandise. However, Donaldson claims that all the bills were business-related.
Discrepancies were allegedly picked up in February last year revealing a high volume of personal spending by Donaldson. She was later suspended after meeting an accountant to discuss the use of the card.
Donaldson is alleged to have spent £823 at Bibi Bakery, £1,482 with luxury candle company Jo Malone, £115 in Costa Coffee, £1,636 in Starbucks and £3,629 with the cosmetic firm Molton Brown. Rowling is seeking damages for further claims in addition to the ones mentioned.
Rowling also claims that Donaldson, who controlled memorabilia requests from fans, used her position to steal a Harry Potter motorized Hogwarts Express worth £467.56, a Harry Potter Wizard Collection worth £2231.76 and a Harry Potter Tales of Beedle The Bard Set worth £395.
Rowling claims that the toys were taken without her “knowledge or consent.”
Furthermore, 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. Rowling also claimed that her former employee took £7,742 in foreign currency.
Commenting on the allegations, Donaldson has denied the claims and says the author has “not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages.”
The civil case before Sheriff Derek O’Carroll is due to return to court next month.