JK Rowling sues former employee over £24,000 shopping spree

The PA allegedly bought two cats worth £1,200

JK Rowling is suing a former employee for allegedly using £24,000 on a shopping spree and taking Harry Potter merchandise.

The author has launched the legal claim against Amanda Donaldson, claiming that the personal assistant used a business credit card to make a series of unauthorised payments to the value of £23,696.32.

The BBC reported that Donaldson spent £823 at Bibi Bakery, £1,482 at luxury candle company Jo Malone, £3,629 in cosmetic firm Molton Brown, £2,139 in card shop Paper Tiger and £1,636 in Starbucks.

It is alleged that Donaldson also purchased two cats worth £1,200.

According to legal papers filed with the Airdrie Sheriff Court, Rowling is accusing the former PA of taking Harry Potter merchandise. The list includes a Harry Potter motorised 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 the toys were taken without her “knowledge or consent”.

Donaldson worked for Rowling between February 2014 and April 2017 and was supplied with a credit card to purchase business and personal items, and had access to a safe containing foreign money. Discrepancies were picked up in monthly statements and Donaldson was sacked for gross misconduct last year.

She is also accused of taking £400 in cash and £7,742 worth of foreign money from the safe.

Donaldson denies the claims and has said the author has “not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages”.

A spokeswoman for 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.

“As the case is not yet concluded we are not able to comment further and there won’t be any comment from JK Rowling.”

The case is due back in court later this year.