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.
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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