J.K. Rowling is suing her former personal assistant Amanda Donaldson over allegations that Donaldson stole a number of expensive Harry Potter toys, among other things.
As reported by the BBC, the Harry Potter author claims that Donaldson, who worked for her between 2014 and 2017, was fired last April for gross misconduct after a number of discrepancies. As part of her professional responsibilities, Donaldson was given a credit card to use for various business expenses. However, Rowling alleges that statements revealed that Donaldson had been using the card for personal spending as well as stole foreign money from a safe.
In addition to the financial thefts, which are said to include spending on cosmetics, Starbucks, and the purchase of two cats, Rowling also claims that Donaldson stole various Harry Potter toys as Donaldson was in charge of memorabilia requests from fans. The toys specifically noted were a motorized Hogwarts Express valued at over $600, a Harry Potter Wizard Collection worth nearly $3,000, and a Harry Potter Tales of Beedle the Bard set worth $500. The total of Donaldson's alleged theft is more than $31,000.
Donaldson denies Rowling's claims, and the case is due back in court later this year.
For now, Rowling has another set of "crimes" to focus on. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in theaters next week, the second of five total films exploring the Harry Potter sequel series. Rowling recently explained in an interview that there's a distinct plan for where that story will go as it fleshes out the history of the original series' world.
"As with the Harry Potter books, it is all mapped out," Rowling said. "In fact, when we announced the five films, I talked about that. It's always possible that some details will change along the way, but the arc of the story is there. It's been an amazing opportunity to tell parts of the backstory that never made it into the original books. I'm thinking particularly of one character that I think fans will be surprised to meet in this movie."
That character just might be Lord Voldemort's snake, Nagini. Played by Claudia Kim, it's now clear that Nagini was, in fact, a Maledictus. It's something that gives the film a darker turn, according to Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob Kowalski in the film.
"It reminds me a lot of The Empire Strikes Back," Fogler said. "The first movie is so positive. It's sweet and lovely. But this time everybody is really put under fire. People are gonna see this like a hundred times just to get everything. They’re going to be going nuts that they have to wait for the next one."
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in theaters on November 16th.