‘Harry Potter’ author J.K. Rowling, who has been dragged into a 500 million pound legal battle over claims of plagiarism, has dismissed the allegations calling them “absurd” and “unfounded“.
The multi-millionaire author has been named in the lawsuit originally filed last year against publisher Bloomsbury for alleged copyright infringement, Daily Mail online reported.
The estate of writer Adrian Jacobs maintains Rowling stole ideas from one of his books ‘The Adventures of Willy the Wizard’ for her work, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’
But Rowling has issued a statement dismissing the claim as “absurd” and is applying to have the case thrown out.
“I am saddened that yet another claim has been made that I have taken material from another source to write Harry. The fact is I had never heard of the author or the book before the first accusation by those connected to the author’s estate in 2004,” Rowling said.
“The claims that are made are not only unfounded but absurd and I am disappointed that I, and my UK publisher Bloomsbury, are put in a position to have to defend ourselves,” Rowling added.
Jacobs’s 36-page book, also about a child discovering he has magical powers, was published in 1987, ten years before the first Harry Potter book and three years before Rowling said she came up with her idea.
Jacob’s estate said many ‘concepts and themes’ were copied from ‘Willy The Wizard’ in Rowling’s ‘The Goblet of Fire’, the fourth book in the series, published in 2000.
In both books, the main character competes in a magic contest and each features wizard trains and prisons.
Jacobs died penniless in a London hospice in 1997, before the Harry Potter phenomenon took the world by storm.
Australian-based agent Max Markson, who represents Paul Allen, the trustee of Jacobs’s estate, said, “I estimate it’s a billion-dollar case.”
The estate also claims that Jacobs had sent the book to literary agent Christopher Little, attributed as the man who years later discovered Rowling.
“Adrian Jacobs did not live long enough to see the massive success of the Harry Potter books and films. If he had, he would have sought the proper recognition of his contribution to this success story,” Allen said.