JK Rowling, in the teaser clip of her podcast ‘The Witch Trials of JK Rowling’, revealed that her ex-husband Jorge Arantes hid the manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – to stop her from leaving him. The famed author filed for divorce on August 10, 1994 and it was finalized on June 26, 1995.

Rowling further added that she feared that Arantes would burn the manuscript and she had to secretly photocopy a few pages each day. Two of her podcast’s episodes were released on Tuesday.

The British author had accused Arantes of abuse. Rowling said she was in deep depression and sought medical help. She also contemplated suicide. The Portuguese journalist, in November 1993, ‘slapped her very hard’ and dragged her out of their apartment two months after the birth of their daughter.

The 57-year-old, talking to US writer Megan Phelps-Roper at her home in Edinburgh, described the violence she experienced in her first marriage.

“He’s not a stupid person. I think he knew, or suspected, that I was going to bolt again. It was a horrible state of tension to live in,” Rowling said.

“He knew what that manuscript meant to me, because at a point, he took the manuscript and hid it, and that was his hostage,” she added. “When I realised that I was going to go – this was it, I was definitely going – I would take a few pages of the manuscript into work every day. Just a few pages, so he wouldn’t realise anything was missing, and I would photocopy it. And gradually, in a cupboard in the staff room, bit by bit, a photocopied manuscript grew and grew and grew.”

Who is Jorge Arantes, JK Rowling’s ex-husband?

Rowling married Arantes in 1992. The two met in a bar in Portugal where she had moved to work as a teacher following her mother’s death.

Arantes is a Portuguese journalist. The couple has a daughter named Jessica who was born on July 27, 1993. The author raised her while writing the Philosophers Stone and surviving on state benefits.

In 2001, she secretly married Dr Neil Murray with whom she has two children, a son and a daughter.