Woman tricked out of Fifty Shades of Grey royalties may get millions

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Jennifer Pedroza, a publisher from Texas, could receive millions of dollars, after being tricked out of receiving royalties for the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. A judge has ruled that $10 million should be set aside for her.

The BBC reported that Pedroza was one of four partners in The Writers Coffee Shop, the online firm that initially published the bookswritten by British authorE.L. James. Another partner, Amanda Hayward, who lives in Sydney, then sold the rights to Random House.

Hayward tricked Pedroza into a signing a restructuring contract that meant she would receive no royalties for the books. The royalties have not been disclosed, but more than 100 million copies have been sold, and the books have been adapted into a $570 million blockbuster film, so it's thought they could easily be worth $40 million.

According to The Daily Mirror, the original verdict was reached in February, and now a Texas court has ordered Hayward to set aside $10 million for damages into a specific account - to ensure the money is available to award. The exact sum paid to Pedroza will be decided once an agreement has been reached by the two sides.

50 Shades success

The books have made their author, EL James (pictured above) a multi-millionaire. Her accounts were submitted earlier this summer, and reveal a profit of £9.8 million in one year alone. Estimates put her net worth at £37 million, but there's every chance that her fortunes will continue to climb: because so far she hasn't submitted accounts that include the royalties from the first 50 Shades film, the enormous range of merchandise she stands to benefit from, or her new book, Grey, from the perspective of Christian Grey.

However, she has a long way to go before she can challenge the enormous earning potential of the world's highest-earning authors. According to Forbes, this list is headed by James Patterson - who made $89 million in the past 12 months. He was followed by John Green, Veronica Roth, Danielle Steel and Jeff Kinney. At the moment all of them make at least double the sum E.L. James pulls in. She is 15th on the list - with 12-month earnings of $12 million.

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Woman tricked out of Fifty Shades of Grey royalties may get millions

The Monaco-based billionaire is said to be worth more than £4.2bn, with Topshop and Topman among the country's most successful brands. His first job, aged 12, was working for a shoe importer. He set up his first business at 15 with a £20,000 loan, on-selling imported jeans from the Far East to London-based retailers.

Branson's first successful business venture came in 1976 when he set up Student magazine aged just 16. In 1970, he founded a mail-order record retailer and within a year had opened his first shop on London's Oxford Street – Virgin Records. His fortune is estimated at £3.085 billion, according to the Sunday Times rich list.

The inventor gave his name to the household vacuum cleaner that would make him a fortune of £1.45 billion. James Dyson first reinvented the vacuum cleaner with the launch of his dual cyclone bagless 'G-Force' cleaner in 1983, followed more recently by the hand dryer and the fan. In 1997, Dyson was awarded the Prince Phillip Designers Prize, and elected a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005.

Founder of Specsavers, Bristol-born Dame Mary Perkins is Britain's first female self-made billionaire, reportedly worth £1.15 billion. The 67-year-old and her husband Douglas, 68, founded the eye-care company in 1984 and they can now boast more than 900 stores across Britain. Perkins was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 as recognition for her work.

Recently retired Beckham is the highest earner in British sport, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. 'Brand Beckham' that has seen the 38-year-old amass a fortune of £165 million from endorsement deals and salary payments from his company, Footwork Productions, over the last decade. But Beckham is still some way off the richest sportsman in the world - golfer Tiger Woods, who is worth a staggering £570m.

Yorkshire Tory peer Lord Kirkham entered the billionaire league in 2010 when he sold his furniture company, DFS, for a reported £500m. In 41 years, Kirkham grew the brand, which started on the outskirts of Doncaster, to 79 stores, three factories and more than 2,600 staff. He received a Knighthood in 1995, a Peerage in 1999 and a CVO in 2005. He now owns a large share in Iceland supermarkets and is worth a reported £1.1billion.

The former Beatle takes the top spot in the Sunday Times Rich List of musical millionaires, sharing a £680 million fortune with his wife Nancy Shevell. McCartney has topped the list of wealthy musicians every year since it was formed 1989 when his fortune was estimated at £80 million.

The chairman of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk, Essex-born Dunstone, 46, started his retail empire selling mobile phones from his west London flat in 1989. His fortune rose by £396 million to £1 billion in a year, after the demerger of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk. Carphone Warehouse is Europe's largest independent mobile phone retailer and Dunstone was awarded a Knighthood in 2012 for services to the mobile communications industry.

Author of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, has a net worth of £560 million – making her the world's richest author. Rowling wrote the first Potter books on a manual typewriter while a single mother living on benefits. The manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel was rejected by 12 publishers and when finally accepted, Rowling received an advance of just £1,500. Harry Potter is the highest-grossing film series of all-time and the brand has been estimated to be worth as much as £10 billion.

East-ender Lord Sugar, best known for his no-nonsense judging on BBC1s The Apprentice, started his career at 16, selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he had bought with savings of £50. In 1968 at the age of 21, Sugar started home electronics company, Amstrad (short for Alan Michael Sugar Trading). By the age of 40 he was worth about £600m. Sir Alan sold Amstrad in 2007, and is now worth a reported £770m, with much of his wealth coming from his extensive property empire.


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