November 12, 2018
J.K. Rowling’s former assistant stole money to buy cats, coffee, and candles
by Stephanie DeLuca
Are you a good witch or a bad witch? If you’re J.K. Rowling’s formal assistant, you sure do appear to be the latter of the two.
According to a report from the BBC, Amanda Donaldson, who worked as the personal assistant to the author of the Harry Potter series from 2014-2017, is being sued by her former employer for £24,000 for stealing money and merchandise.
The legal papers filed by Rowling at Airdrie Sheriff Court in Scottland, state that Donaldson used a credit card designated for businesses purposes for her personal purchases. What purchases may that be? Oh, just some necessities (read: absolutely not necessary) like baked goods, fancy candles and stationery, and lots of Starbucks:
- £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
- £1,636 in Starbucks
Also wrapped up in this whole mess? Two innocent cats that Donaldson purchased using the credit card, totaling £1,200. Other stolen assets include a £400 cash withdrawal for a restaurant deposit that never actually materialized, as well as £7,742-worth of foreign money from a safe.
Adding to her bad decisions, Donaldson is accused of having stolen Harry Potter memorabilia. As Rowling’s employee, Donaldson was in charge of memorabilia requests. The BBC reports that she “used her position to steal 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.” Have you met any Harry Potter fans? I would not mess with their memorabilia.
Donaldson, who was fired by Rowling for “gross misconduct” has denied the claims and says that Rowling has “not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages.” The case is due back in court later this year. No word yet from the Ministry of Magic, but we await their response.
Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.