Private Eye got onto him first. That's how I got to know about it as one of their freelances. In fact, he contacted them from Heathrow airport. He was angry they told me and to take care. But he had a story.
He was none other than J.K.Rowling's secret boyfriend from many years back. I imagined he would be weedy, bookish, a nerd. He was the guy she never talked about and only mentioned once when she let it be known that she had gone flat hunting with him to Manchester after she skipped Amnesty where she had been working as a secretary. That was another part of the story I would check out later on. There was something not right about it.
We met in a grimy pub in Soho, London. A skinny blonde was playing a guitar back of the room on a small stage in front of a stained glass window. My mark sat at a table by himself sipping beer and staring at the singer. He seemed far away. I was surprised by his girth, a proverbial mountain of a man, and the fact that he was old and black, Jamaican, and not too shy to hide it with his dreadlocks and rainbow-coloured woolen beanie that did little to hide his silver curls. He looked like he hadn't shaved in a week, rough stubble glistening on his enormous face like frost on a bull's back. Not what I expected at all. As we got talking he revealed his name was Val De Mort. Val spoke with a broad Jamaican accent that was sometimes hard to unravel and he had the strangest eyes I had ever seen for a black man.
Q: So this is where you both met?
A: Yea man, me and Joanne. Like it wuz yesterdaaaay. Nobody ever called her "Jo". Dat was made up by Little and Bloombsury to make her look like she wuz a man. Sexual ambeeeeevlence is one of de tricks dey use man. Dat's why dey gives her short hair when she spoke to de boys at Havard. Boys tawt she wuz one of dem. Den dey makes Dumbledore gay. Same teeng.
Q: I hadn't noticed.
A: Voodoo man. Sublimeee-naaaall. I's surprised de bastards didn't put a false beard and moustache on her and send her out in a suit. Me and her smoked de weed too in a coffee shop just around de corner. Some teengs are hard to forget man. Drink up!
Q: Can you tell me more about the circumstances?
A: Sure. Waiter! More beer! She was over der in a corner holding hands with dat old mudderfucker with grey hair that she kept calling "Chris". It's like dey wuz hiding or someteeng. I was at me mike belting out one of me very own songs. She caught me eye like and we both knew. Next day she was der again without him and so was I. Gee that chick could ride de crew of a battle ship in an afternoon man on one beer and a cracker. Never stopped. Day and night. Like rabbits we wuz. I's surprised I's still alive bro.
Q: So how did it end, Val?
A: Little. He kept following her around with dees two books wot he kept wanting her to read. "Just copy de shit down Joanne!" he keeps telling her. "Just copy it doooowwwwn. Change a word here and der. I haz underlined all de parts for you." "Does dat mean I have written it all myself?" she axes him flashing her eyelashes and he says. "It's your own handwriting isn't it?" "I sees what you mean," she smiles at him and kinda laughs de way she does like she was watching a Tibetan monk go up in flames. I told him to piss off or I would break his neck like a chicken but he wouldn't listen.
Q: How long did your affair with Rowling last?
A: About a year. We moves up North to Manchester to get away from him but he keeps following her, or he would send somebody from his office. Blair or Walsh or Bryony Evens or some chick called Fleur someteeng. I took her to Jamaicee but she gets into all dat Voodoo stuff big time.
Q; Is that when she got her famous idea?
A. Famous idea? (Laughs to the point where he falls off his chair and rolls around the ground. A waiter comes over thinking he is drunk with intent to throw him out. Val stares at him and the waiter backs off like a dog behind the counter from whence he had come making whimpering sounds as he goes. Val resumes his seat drying his eyes.). Joanne never had a fucking idea in her whole life. Dat's what I liked about her. In Jamaicee she went off de rails. Scarey man. She keeps sneaking outta me bed and disappearing into de jungle. Hard to get out of Voodoo when you gets in dat deep. Freaks me out man. Had to bring her home. But I didn't know who she was at dat point. What are you staring at?
Q: Do many Jamaicans have bright green eyes?
A: What d'you mean? Dem is brown eyes. Brooooowwwwn!
Q: Sorry, Val. What has brought you out of hiding after all dis, I mean this time?
A: I's broke as dem people wot dey ripped off. And I gots me three wives and fourteen kids. Nine of dem is called "Harry" and de rest "Hermione". Except for one wot I calls "Harmony". Dey give me a mill to go away.
Q: You took it?
A: Sure I takes it!(laughing and slaps his knee). Who wouldn't? You tink I's de only one? You tink I's the only man she's ever laid doooooownnn with? She liked dem old and powerful, journalists, eggheads, politicians, dem kinda fucks. Dumbest thing I ever did taking de dough. "You wuz just her bit of rough", dat fuck her lawyer Blair tells me as he hands me de cheque." I should not have taken it, man. I should have broked his jaw.
Q: Why did you take it?
A: Dumb! I coulda got me twenty million man. An hundred! Dey all got more than me. I embarrassed dem. Dey had to get rid of me. But, I still gots me stories man. I gots dem by de baaaalls. That's why I'm here. I wants what I's owed!
Q: Sit down Val. Why do you keep looking around?
A: Bastards are everywhere man. Nicked me bag at Heathrow didn't dey? I just wants me money likes all de rest and dem's plenty man, plenty! Den I gotta getta fuck outta here. Tanks for the bread man. Take care. Just don't use my real name okay? And dese eyes is brown. Broooowwwwnnnnnn!
Q: Whatever you say.
A: You never saw me okay?
Q: Wouldn't recognize you in a bus queue, Val.