JK Rowling hits back after being 'reported to police' and branded 'extremist' by Willoughby after trans row

JK Rowling hits back after being 'reported to police' and branded 'extremist' by Willoughby after trans row

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Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 07/03/2024

- 09:38

Updated: 07/03/2024

- 09:40

The duo engaged in a heated war of words on social media earlier this week

India Willoughby, Britain's first trans newsreader, has claimed she's reported JK Rowling to the police after the Harry Potter author "definitely committed a crime" in relation to her comments about trans rights this week.

Rowling refused to refer to Willoughby as a "woman" when engaging in an online debate about all-female locker rooms and said the former Celebrity Big Brother star was "just a man revelling in his misogynistic performance of what he thinks 'woman' means: narcissistic, shallow and exhibitionist".

Willoughby responded to Rowling's comments and accused her of "grotesque transphobia" before adding to her followers: "I am every bit as much a woman as JK Rowling. Recognised in law, and by everyone I interact with every day. The debate about whether JK Rowling is a transphobe is over."

Now, in a new interview, Willoughby has claimed she's pursuing legal action over Rowling's remarks.

In a snippet from the interview, conducted by Byline TV, Willoughby claimed: "JK Rowling is probably the most radicalised person in intenet history. She's gone down a rabbit hole and now I would class her as an extremist."

In another clip from the interview, Willoughby said: "JK Rowling has definitely committed a crime. I'm legally a woman, she knows I'm a woman, and she calls me a man.

"It's a protected characteristic and that is a breach of both the Equalities Act and the Gender Recognition Act. She's tweeted that out to 14 million followers.

"If you check out the accounts that have been responding to me on the back of that, her trigger, it's absolutely disgusting. Putrid. Some of the worst abuse I've ever seen on social media. I know I'm at the centre of it and I may be a little bit biased..."

She then revealed she'd been to the police and "contacted Northumbria Constabulary" in regards to Rowling's comments on social media.

"I don't know if it's going to be treated as a hate crime, malicious communications, but it's a cut-and-dry offence as far as I'm concerned."

Byline TV claims it approached both Willoughby and Rowling to take part in interviews but only the former replied.

The journalist who conducted the interview released a separate clip on X defending the chat with Willoughby.

India Willoughby is evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house

India Willoughby took part in Celebrity Big Brother when it was on Channel 5


He stated in the clip that the interview with Willoughby was "very, very balanced" and he "stands by it entirely" before again asking for Rowling to share her side.

Following Byline TV's release of the Willoughby teaser, a community note has been attached to the video by X users who feel they needed to add context.

The community note which now appears alongside the video reads: "The statement 'this could lead to JK Rowling’s arrest' is straightforwardly false. A 'hate crime' must have an underlying criminal offence, which is motivated by hate."

Rowling has also responded to Willoughby's claims in her latest interview, claiming in a five-part social media thread: "Some time ago, lawyers advised me that not only did I have a clearly winnable case against India Willoughby for defamation, but that India's obsessive targeting of me over the past few years may meet the legal threshold for harassment.

JK Rowling and India Willoughby

JK Rowling and India Willoughby have clashed over the Harry Potter's trans views


"I ignored this advice because I couldn't be bothered giving India the publicity he so clearly craves. Nevertheless, we must all do our bit to combat hate, so India will be glad to know I've taken note of his homophobia, racism, and humane stance on immigration.

"Nor have I forgotten India's shocking transphobia. It appears to have slipped what passes for India's mind that he's previously called a fellow trans woman a man on this very site. Surprisingly for such an eminent legal authority, he appears to have forgotten that the Forstater ruling established that gender critical views can be protected in law as a philosophical belief.

"No law compels anyone to pretend to believe that India is a woman. Aware as I am that it's an offence to lie to law enforcement, I'll simply have to explain to the police that, in my view, India is a classic example of the male narcissist who lives in a state of perpetual rage that he can't compel women to take him at his own valuation."

GB News has contacted Willoughby for comment about Rowling's response to her Byline TV interview.

GB News has also contacted Northumbria Police concerning Willoughby's claims.

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