Daily Mail accuses star Leveson witness Rowling of hypocrisy
JK Rowling accused media of invading her privacy, but Mail says she has done just that to sell her new book
JUST weeks before the publication of the Leveson report, which is expected to criticise the obsession of certain newspapers with the personal lives of celebrities, the Daily Mail has launched a stinging attack on JK Rowling for "hypocrisy".
The paper accuses the author, who appeared before Leveson last year to complain about media intrusion into her personal life, of invading her own privacy to boost sales of her new book.
The Daily Mail appears to have taken exception to the marketing tactics of Rowling's publishing company, Little, Brown, which imposed severe restrictions on media organisations in return for the honour of being given an advance copy of The Casual Vacancy for review purposes.
Among the restrictions was an embargo on publication of any review until after the release of the book.
One literary editor, who was forced to sign a five-page confidentiality agreement warning of "detrimental consequences" should any breach occur, told the Daily Mail after her book was delivered to her door: "I have been doing this job for 25 years and in all that time I cannot ever remember such an embargo for a work of fiction.
"It's not the way things should be done. It smacked of bullying. Reviews are normally published before books go on sale. Apart from anything else, it helps the public to decide if they want to buy a particular book or not."
In the event the reviews for The Casual Vacancy have been decidedly mixed, with some critics calling it "dull".
However, while denying basic rights to certain media organisations, Rowling's publicity drive has been surprisingly open to others.
The Mail highlights the fact that, in her interview with Decca Aitkenhead at The Guardian, Rowling seemed happy to talk about her private life. For this, the Mail brands Rowling a hypocrite.
"Miss Rowling was one of the 'star witnesses' at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, complaining bitterly about the press repeatedly invading her privacy," says the paper.
"In recent days, to promote her book, though, she has talked extensively about her troubled relationship with her estranged father, her unhappy teenage years, a failed marriage, her current husband and her battle against depression.
"She has even referred to her 19-year-old daughter Jessica, all of which, some people might feel, leaves her open to criticisms that she has compromised her own privacy to promote her book for financial gain."
Leveson is expected to report in November and the Daily Mail is among those papers expected to be criticised. It seems unlikely the paper will take it lying down.