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Settlement reached in ‘Fifty Shades’ royalty lawsuit

American Jennifer Lynn Pedroza has reached an out-of-court settlement with Australian Amanda Hayward, her former partner in the epublishing business The Writers Coffee Shop (TWCS), over Pedroza’s claim she was defrauded out of her portion of royalties for the sale of the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series, reports Reuters.

No monetary details of the settlement were announced.

In February, a Texas judge ordered Hayward pay US$11.5m (A$15.1m) in unpaid royalties and US$1.7m (A$2.2m) in attorney’s fees to Pedroza, following an audit of TWCS’s finances. Judge Susan McCoy found the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series made the business at least US$40m (A$53.06m).

Pedroza was one of four original partners in TWCS, which first published the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series as ebooks and later sold the publishing rights to Random House.

Mike Farris, attorney for Pedroza, said of the settlement: ‘I believe everyone is pleased.’ Hayward’s Texas-based attorney David Keltner said ‘the settlement puts an end to the disagreements they had’.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Pedroza filed the lawsuit against Hayward in 2014. In February 2015, a jury found Hayward had defrauded Pedroza over royalty rights to the series, and in August 2015 McCoy ordered Hayward set aside US$10.7m (A$14.19m) prior to an audit of the business to determine the final amount.


Category: Local news Rights and acquisitions