A U.S. court ordered an Australian woman, a former publisher of the 2011 raunchy novel "Fifty Shades Of Grey," to set aside about $10.7 million Wednesday for a Texas woman, who the jury ruled was defrauded of royalties. Both women worked as partners in a small online firm in Australia, which initially published an e-book version of the famous erotic trilogy.
Jennifer Pedroza of Arlington, Texas, would receive the money after her attorneys and the accused, Amanda Hayward, reach an agreement on the amount, which includes attorney fees, Reuters reported, citing court authorities.
Pedroza filed a lawsuit against Hayward in Tarrant County, Texas, in May 2014, seeking more than $1 million. In February, a jury decided that Pedroza was cheated of her royalties when the rights were sold to Random House, a publishing company headquartered in New York. Hayward, who signed the deal on behalf of the firm, The Writers Coffee Shop, conned Pedroza into signing a restructuring contract that removed her from royalties rights, according to BBC.
David Keltner, Hayward's attorney, said his client did not have $10 million in cash to give to Pedroza. But, judge Susan McCoy reportedly said that she would allow property to be applied toward the amount. Keltner said the court decision might be appealed.
The Fifty Shades trilogy, by British writer E.L. James, sold over 100 million copies worldwide. A movie adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the first book in the series, was released in February and garnered more than $570 million across global box offices.