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Teacher Wins $11.5 Million in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Lawsuit
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Fifty Shades of Grey

Summary: A Texas teacher wins $11.5 million in a lawsuit against the original publisher of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Sex sells, and in the case of Fifty Shades of Grey, sex sells for a lot of money.

  
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The Guardian reports that in May 2014, Jennifer Pedroza, a Texas elementary teacher, sued her former partner Amanda Hayward of defrauding her out of millions of royalties. The two women worked at Writer’s Coffee Shop, the e-publishing company that first published E.L. James’ erotic books.

In her lawsuit, the teacher claimed that Hayward, the CEO of Writer’s Coffee Shop, conned her and other employees out of $40 million, the amount the books allegedly made for the company. Hayward allegedly did this by secretly turning the website into a company that she exclusively owned.

A Texas judge, Susan McCoy, awarded Pedroza $11.5 million after an audit of the company’s finances. Hayward was also ordered to pay $1.7 million in attorney’s fees.

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The trial occurred in February 2015, but only last week was the final verdict decided.

Pedroza is represented by Mike Ferris, and Hayward is represented by David Keltner.



The Fifty Shades of Grey series explores a BDSM-fueled relationship between a young woman and a billionaire CEO. It became an international bestseller, and the movie adaptation of the first book, which starred Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, was a blockbuster hit.

Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction on the Writers Coffee Shop website before the company published the series as an-ebook and on-demand print book in 2010. It went on to sell 250,000 copies, which is rare for independent publishing. That number attracted traditional publisher, Random House, which bought the rights to publish it and made it the international bestseller it is today.

Keltner said he and his client plan to appeal the decision.

Source: The Guardian



 

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