Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Australian publisher of ‘Fifty Shades’ subject of US lawsuit

Two American women are suing Australian Amanda Hayward for a share in profits from E L James’ bestselling novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Hayward is the owner of The Writers Coffee Shop (TWCS), which originally published the ebook of the novel before it was acquired by Random House.

The two complainants are Jenny Pedroza, who founded The Writers Coffee Shop with Hayward and two other women, and Christa Beebe, who was later employed by the business. The pair have filed a suit in Texas claiming that Hayward established a business entity for dealing with Random House that was solely owned by her.

The suit states: ‘Hayward told her partners that the partnership prospectively needed to be restructured into an entity solely owned by her for “tax reasons”. She then fraudulently induced Pedroza and Beebe into signing “service agreements” with TWCS, and subsequently terminated both of them.’

The lawsuit asks the court to recognise that TWCS is an ongoing partnership and, as a partner, Pedroza is entitled to 25% of the profits, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The two complainants are seeking ‘equitable relief, including injunctive relief, the imposition of a constructive trust, damages, and to trap funds not yet paid by Random House’. 

‘The court has temporarily restrained Hayward from collecting any additional proceeds from the books’ sales,’ reports the SMH. ‘A hearing date of June 12 has been set down for the women’s application for a temporary injunction.’


Category: Local news