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19 July 2013 @ 10:22 am
Quoted in the Grauniad, on the leaking of JK Rowling's new pen-name:

We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife's best friend, [name given in the statement*], during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact JK Rowling.

Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly.

There's nothing like "It wasn't really the fault of the person who told the secret, it was the one he told the secret too! She should have kept the secret, even though he should never have told her the secret and she might therefore reasonably have thought it wasn't that much of a secret" not to convince the reader.

One of the things I am quite proud of at work is that I have a reputation for absolute discretion on the personnel/personal business that comes across my desk. I'm less happy that this means that I end up with both sides of something coming to ask me about it and wanting different answers, or that I end up looking into things up for people because they don't want to ask officially, which takes time I haven't got, but it's not a bad price to pay for knowing that people are confident they can tell me very confidential stuff and know that I won't tell. An essential professional quality that Mr Gossange seems to have lost, presumably along with JK Rowling's business.


I am supposed to be packing. I had better go and do it.

*Something I am also really not impressed by. She shouldn't have done it. But she didn't do it while being specifically paid not to do it, and she isn't professionally involved. Giving out her name to the papers is unnecessary and petty.