JK Rowling’s ex-husband Jorge Arantes has claimed that he helped write the first book in her multimillion-dollar “Harry Potter” franchise.
Rowling married Arantes in 1992 after meeting him in a bar in Portugal, where she had relocated to work as a teacher following the death of her mother.
The pair welcomed daughter Jessica, now 29, together. But, Rowling left in 1993 after the marriage allegedly ‘turned violent’.
“When she was writing the book, I was participating in it, she was reading it out to me, and I was reading it to her,” Arantes, 54, said to the Daily Mail. “The first book was fascinating; the writing was wonderful, and I always liked it because we shared a passion for literature, and especially literature for children.”
The former Portuguese television reporter continued, “The project was for seven books, and I was very involved with the first one and she knows that. She started writing it when we were together.”
Meanwhile, the embattled author was recently interviewed on “The Witch Trials of JK Rowling,” a new podcast that centers on her public squabbles. There, she alleged that Arantes threatened to burn the pages of her unpublished manuscript if she decided to leave him.
That’s when Rowling began photocopying the pages, she claimed, just in case he made good on his purported promise.
Arantes, who has admitted to slapping Rowling, told the Daily Mail that the claim was outrageous. “I don’t know why she is saying what she is now, maybe she is delirious from three years of COVID lockdown,” slammed Arantes. “I was surprised when I read about this. I deny it. It doesn’t make any sense. Why would I do something like that? Maybe you should ask her.”
Rowling further stated that she would smuggle “small batches” of what would become “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” out of the house, photocopy them at school, and then leave the copies in a cupboard.
“And gradually in a cupboard in the staff room, bit by bit, a photocopied manuscript grew and grew and grew, because I suspected that, if I wasn’t [sic] able to get out with everything, he would burn it or take it or hold it hostage,” she recalled.
“That manuscript still meant so much to me. That was the thing that I prioritized for saving. The only thing I prioritized beyond that, obviously, was my daughter, but at that point, she’s still inside me, so she’s as safe as can be in that situation.”
Arantes told the Daily Mail he resides alone in Porto, adding that he does not have any type of relationship with his daughter, Jessica Rowling, now 29.
Rowling — who occasionally writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith — married pediatrician and neonatologist Neil Murray in 2001. They live in Edinburgh, Scotland, and have two children, David, 19, and Mackenzie, 18.