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Thursday, 18 July, 2002, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
JK Rowling 'stalker' deported
JK Rowling
JK Rowling is known to be an intensely private person
An American woman accused of stalking Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been deported from the UK.

Melissa Kumsuk Cho, 41, appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month, charged with harassment and committing a breach of the peace in May.

It was alleged that Ms Cho had repeatedly telephoned the 36-year-old author, sent letters and gone to her Edinburgh home and other places where she might be.

Harry Potter book
The books have made the author a multi-millionaire
Ms Cho has now been sent back to the US after she was found to have been living in Scotland illegally.

A spokeswoman for Rowling confirmed that the author had been harassed and said: "A woman was arrested and deported but we can't make any further comment."

Ms Cho, whose address was given as 272 Leith Walk in Edinburgh, was charged with a breach of the peace, aggravated by a charge of harassment.

She was also accused of posting disturbing letters and items to the writer.

It was further alleged that Ms Cho tried to deceive a firm of solicitors by saying she was the beneficiary of a trust set up by Rowling, in an attempt to find out more information about her.

Deported

The accused made no plea or declaration on 21 June, bail was opposed and she was remanded in custody at Cornton Vale women's prison in Stirling.

But in the meantime a deportation order was served on Ms Cho and on Thursday the Immigration Service confirmed she had been deported.

Lothian and Borders Police said she was sent back to the US before the end of June.

The Crown Office said there would be no further legal action against Ms Cho.

"There are no further court dates, she has been deported and so the case has been discontinued," a spokeswoman said.

Rowling is known to be an intensely private woman and used her married name, Joanne Murray, in court papers.

The publication of her much-awaited fifth book - Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - which was scheduled for this autumn, has been postponed, possibly until 2003.


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13 May 02 | Entertainment
03 Oct 01 | Entertainment
07 Apr 02 | Entertainment
30 Dec 01 | Entertainment
22 Nov 01 | Scotland
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