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Inside the private life of JK Rowling, including net worth, books, and controversy-Danni Scott-Entertainment – Metro

She wants the police to ‘arrest’ her.

Inside the private life of JK Rowling, including net worth, books, and controversy-Danni Scott-Entertainment – Metro

JK Rowling is a multi-millionaire thanks to Harry Potter (Picture: EPA)

Years after writing the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter, author JK Rowling has become a contentious figure particularly around transgender rights.

The 58-year-old author has amassed a staggering net worth of £875million ($1billion) thanks to the continued success of the Harry Potter franchise.

She recently declared she ‘looks forward to being arrested’ as she voiced her opposition to a hate crime law which has come into effect in her home country of Scotland.

Scotland’s Hate Crime and Public Order Act was actually passed in 2021, creating a new crime of ‘stirring up hatred’ relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or being intersex.

While most remember her as a children’s author, her Twitter profile and vocal political opinions have begun to take over Rowling’s public persona.

From humble beginnings as a single mother to Britain’s most famous trans-exclusionary campaigner, who is Joanne Rowling?

She published the final book, the Deathly Hallows, in 2007(Picture: PA Wire/PA Photos)

How much money has JK Rowling made from the Harry Potter books?

In 1997, a book about a boy who discovered he was a wizard found its way onto the shelves and sparked a franchise that would span seven core books, eight films, and huge themeparks.

Harry Potter’s popularity was unprecedented, as a generation defined themselves by their Hogwarts houses and dreamed of getting their letter to attend,

Over 600million copies of the books are thought to have been sold worldwide since release, although the percentage of these sales given to Rowling is unknown.

Since release, her books are estimated to have brought in anywhere from £60 million to a whopping £1 billion, not including the now ‘parked’ spin-off series.

The films quickly became a hit and landed her box office success (Picture: Warner Bros)

However, it was the film series that really boosted her net worth as the Philosopher’s Stone made a profit of $850 million.

Overall the eight movies managed to land a profit of $5.6 billion, which continues to earn her revenue through licensing agreements and streaming purchases.

She also receives an annual fee from the Wizarding World theme park plus a cut of any ticket sales and purchases made at the Orlando, Florida venue.

Sales of anything licensed by Warner Bros with Harry Potter on it — from Primark pyjamas to the controversial Hogwarts Legacy — puts money in Rowling’s pocket.

This success meant that despite being turned down by 12 publishers, Rowling has become one of the — if not the — richest authors in the world.

Some of the cast have since come out in opposition to Rowling (Picture: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Does JK Rowling use a pseudonym?

J K Rowling is already a pen name, with the ‘K’ standing for Kathleen which was her paternal grandmother’s name and her first initial ‘J’ for Joanne.

However, in an attempt to carve out a career separate from the Wizarding World, the author began to publish books under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Her Cormoran Strike crime series is written under the false name, with seven novels published since 2013’s The Cuckoo’s Calling.

The pseudonym Robert Galbraith has been a spot of controversy for Rowling as it is also the name of a 20th century anti- LGBTQ+ conversion therapist, Robert Galbraith Heath.

She also publishes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith (Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Rowling’s team has previously stated that the connection is a coincidence that she was not aware of when selecting the name.

On her website, she wrote: ‘I chose Robert because it is one of my favorite men’s names, because Robert F. Kennedy is my hero and because, mercifully, I hadn’t used it for any of the characters in the Potter series or The Casual Vacancy.

‘Galbraith came about for a slightly odd reason. When I was a child, I really wanted to be called Ella Galbraith, and I’ve no idea why.’

JK Rowling’s transgender controversies

The Galbraith upset is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Rowling’s controversies, particularly those pertaining to the trans community.

Her declaration that the Scottish police should ‘arrest her’ comes after a steady transformation on her social presence which many have deemed ‘transphobic’.

In the past Rowling has said that she is not anti-trans but is protecting women from harmful cisgender men who may claim to be transgender to access women’s spaces.

The major turning point for many fans is pinpointed to one 2020 tweet in which she retweeted an opinion piece which discussed ‘people who menstruate’.

She wrote: ‘People who menstruate.” I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’

After extreme backlash for attempting to define womanhood, thus alienating women who do not menstruate or those who do but do not identify as women, she clarified her position.

‘I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,’ she wrote. ‘I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans.

‘At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.’

She then published a think-piece titled ‘TERF Wars’, standing for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’, which garnered even more backlash.

Many fans have distanced themselves from the franchise over her views (Picture: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

Along with this her book Troubled Blood featured a cis man dressing up as a woman to hunt and murder cis women — a commonly voiced fear by transphobic groups.

She has published long twitter threads about hormone therapy, accused trans activists of sending her death threats, and accused a trans person of doxxing her (revealing personal information online, which in this case was already google-able).

In 2023, Rowling compared trans activists to Death Eaters, the villains in her books who worked for Voldemort and supported the pursuit of ‘pureblood’ wizards.

In the extract she said of trans activists: ‘I am fighting what I see as a powerful, insidious, misogynistic movement, that has gained huge purchase in very influential areas of society.’

‘I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex,’ she said when the Hate Crime Act was first discussed.

She has repeatedly misgendered trans people on Twitter (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

Twitter users have repeatedly called her out for misgendering trans people who speak out against her.

More recently, her tweets once again attracted attention as she was accused of engaging in ‘Holocaust denial’ as she said transgender people were not targeted in the Holocaust.

‘I just… how? How did you type this out and press send without thinking “I should maybe check my source for this, because it might’ve been a fever dream”?’ she wrote in response to someone claiming Nazi’s burned books on trans healthcare.

According a 2021 article in Scientific American, German scientist Magnus Hirschfeld and his institute, which performed gender reassignment and other LGBTQ+ healthcare, was raided and journals were burned in the street.

On April 1, 2024, Rowling shared a thread of transwomen in response to the new law and wrote: ‘🎉🌼🌸April Fools! 🌸🌼🎉 Only kidding. Obviously, the people mentioned in the above tweets aren’t women at all, but men, every last one of them.’

Misgendering people is not illegal under Scotland’s new law but anything ‘that a reasonable person would consider to be threatening or abusive’ which has ‘the intention of stirring up hatred based on the protected characteristics’ would be investigated.

Celebrities have spoken out publicly against Rowling, including stars of the Harry Potter franchise – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

‘Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,’ Watson previously wrote, while Radcliffe has stated: ‘Transgender women are women.’

Who are JK Rowling’s husband and children?

Rowling’s first marriage was to TV reporter Jorge Arantes, tying the knot in 1992, from which she has her eldest child, Jessica.

Rowling has since claimed that Arantes was abusive to her and held the original Harry Potter manuscript ‘hostage’.

They split after 13 months and are thought to have had no contact since the divorce in 1993 and Jessica uses the surname Rowling.

She then met Dr Neil Murray in 2001, welcoming two children together; David and Mackenzie.

They live in a huge £2.2million mansion in Edinburgh, which is surrounded by 30-foot hedges, while Rowling also has a townhouse in Kensington, London.

She is married to Neil Murray and has been since 2001 (Picture: Euan Cherry/Getty Images)

The pair keep things fairly private but in 2020, she appeared on the Tracks Of My Years segment on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show and discussed him.

Speaking about Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers, she explained: ‘I think of all the love songs written, this might be my favourite. It’s such a beautiful, simple sentiment, but I have an additional reason for choosing it, which is that it took lockdown for my husband to say to me.

‘I was playing it in the kitchen while cooking something; he walked in, he said, “This always makes me think of you when you’re down in London,” and that was a very moving marital moment so now it has an extra layer of meaning for me.’

Was JK Rowling involved in a drunk driving incident?

Claims that Rowling ‘killed two people in a drunk driving incident in 1993’ have circulated online since June 2023.

The story is utterly fabricated for the bizarre purpose of highlighting the problem with bots on X stealing artwork from creators.

Creators realised their artwork was being stolen by bots and made into t-shirts as unlicensed merchandise, profiting off their hard work.

In 2019, an informal campaign was started to bait such bots into sharing tops that read: ‘This site sells STOLEN artwork, do NOT buy from them!’

Rowling’s drunk driving claims were a hoax (Picture: PA)

A viral tweet from user @MrTooDamnChris then sparked the Rowling rumours as he shared: ‘Just saw someone wearing this t-shirt. Where can you even buy a t-shirt like this?’

He attached a design that contained the cover art for the first Harry Potter book and text that read: ‘In 1993, J.K. Rowling killed two people while driving drunk. We are subject to all British libel laws.’

The tweet amassed over 50,000 likes in one day and became a widely shared meme, especially after tops appeared for sale parroting the claim.

Bots also responded to Chris, claiming to be the original site selling this artwork and promptly proving his point.

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