JK Rowling calls transgender former Loose Women host a ‘fantasising male’ in latest online spat

Side by side images of Harry Potter author JK Rowling and trans journalist India Willoughby

JK Rowling has called trans journalist and presenter India Willoughby a “fantasising male” in their latest online disagreement. 

On Tuesday (2 July), Willoughby, who last month blasted Waterstones for promoting a book of ‘gender-critical’ essays, including one by author JK Rowling, took to X to hit out at Rowling and also Sharron Davis. 

Posting three images of former Olympic swimmer Davis, who has campaigned against trans women’s inclusion in women’s sports for several years, Willoughby posted a dig at Rowling, who she called “Volder-Maud”. 

Rowling has gone from almost-universally beloved children’s author to one of the most divisive and controversial figures in the UK due to her regular comments about trans people and their rights.

India Willoughby became Britain’s first transgender television newsreader when she joined 5News on Channel 5 in 2017.

The same year, Willoughby was invited onto ITV daytime chat show Loose Women to tell her story as a guest – but due to the public’s positive response to her appearance, she was invited back to be a co-host.

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On June 3, Willoughby wrote: “What did Volder-Maud say to me a few months ago after flying to the Channel Islands to send a tweet? Ah yes. ‘A man cosplaying a misogynistic fantasy of what a woman is’. Those words fit size 14 flippers Sharron Davis way more than me.” 

In response, JK Rowling commented on the post accusing Willoughby of being “a male, fantasising” while also claiming that Sharron Davis is “a male fantasy”. 

Willoughby was quick to respond and wrote back: “Lol. The replies here from your disciples. As if this is a burn. You’re so witty Joanne. Oscar Viled.” 

It isn’t the first time Rowling has had a spat with Willoughby, as she mentioned in her post. In March, Rowling misgendered Willoughby and accused her of “cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is”.

The journalist described the post as “grotesque”. 

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