Harry Potter and the Chamber of Stolen Toys? Why, that might just be the title of J.K. Rowling’s next book, because according to a new lawsuit the bestselling author is claiming to have had some very valuable Hogwarts merchandise taken from her.
BBC News reports that Rowling is suing her former personal assistant Amanda Donaldson to the tune of over $31,000, for allegedly using Rowling's money to go on shopping sprees in a series of unauthorized payments, in addition to the alleged toy theft.
Per the report, Donaldson worked for Rowling as a personal assistant between February 2014 and April 2017, before she was fired for gross misconduct. In her legal claim, Rowling alleges that Donaldson broke strict working rules by spending her boss’s money on cosmetics, gifts, around $2,000 on Starbucks, and even two cats worth over $1,575 (among other miscellaneous items).
Perhaps most troubling, however, is the value of the missing Potter merch — we're talking many, many Galleons — which Rowling says were taken without her "knowledge or consent." The suit claims that part of Donaldson's job was to monitor memorabilia requests from fans, and Rowling has alleged that she abused her position to keep the following items for herself:
- Harry Potter motorized Hogwarts Express worth $613.79 / £467.56
- Harry Potter Wizard Collection worth $2,929.78 / £2231.76
- Harry Potter Tales of Beedle The Bard Set worth $518.52 / £395.
Donaldson has denied the claims, saying that Rowling had "not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages" from her, according to BBC News. Rowling’s spokesperson confirmed the suit to the outlet, and the case is said to be due back in court later this year.
There’s no question that merchandise from the Harry Potter franchise (the value of which, by the way, is estimated to be $25 billion) is worth its weight in Knuts and Sickles. In 2016, one eBay seller sold their Lego Harry Potter Complete Collection for a magical $10,000.
It would seem that Rowling — whose net worth is estimated to be just less than $1 billion — is still very protective over her stash of Potter goodies. Might we suggest that moving forward, though, she keeps everything under lock and key at Gringotts? It is, after all, the safest place in her wizarding world.
Do you own any valuable Potter goodies? Dazzle us in the comments below.