Who Is J.K. Rowling's First Husband? Jorge Arantes Confessed To 'Slapping' The 'Harry Potter' Author

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Who Is J.K. Rowling's First Husband? Jorge Arantes Confessed To 'Slapping' The 'Harry Potter' Author
Entertainment And News

When Joanne "J.K." Rowling first appeared on the scene with her groundbreaking Harry Potter books, she created a global phenomenon. The series, which would spawn books, films, and a ride at Universal Studios, became beloved by fans the world over. Inasmuch as people loved the Harry Potter books, though, they loved the mythos that built around Rowling herself. As she liked to tell it, especially in the early days, she'd gone through hell and back over the course of seven years — in the form of losing her mother, divorcing her husband, giving birth to her first child, and living in abject poverty — only to produce Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as an end result of The Struggle. 

And of course, the world cheered her on for it. Rise up, sister!

But then, following her overwhelming success and wealth as a result of the Harry Potter franchise, Rowling decided to alienate her diverse fandom by making overtly transphobic statements, and — most recently — claiming that trans women weren't "real" women. 

She tried to defend and/or otherwise offer an excuse for her statements in a long blog post, claiming in part that she was "abused" by her first husband, though it's unclear what one thing has to do with the other. 

And it was this statement that prompted a British newspaper to track down said first husband for an exclusive interview. The end result of this interview was, of course, only adding more fuel to the fire.

Who is J.K. Rowling's first husband, Jorge Arantes?

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He's a Portuguese television journalist. 

Billing himself as a Portuguese television journalist, Jorge Arantes met JK Rowling in Porto, Portugal, where Rowling had moved to teach ESL (English as a second language) classes. Rowling had only been living in Portugal for 18 months when she met Arantes, who described their relationship as "intense and passionate." "We were simply two young, independent people enjoying life," he said. The couple moved in together after only dating for a few months. Rowling suffered a miscarriage early in their relationship, but when she got pregnant with their daughter, Jessica, Arantes married her in October 1992. Shortly after Jessica was born in July 1993, however, Rowling and Arantes divorced.

His last interview with the media was in 2000.

Prior to this explosive interview, Arantes' last interview with the press was all the way back in 2000. At the time, he discussed how he'd lost his job as a journalist thanks to his drug addiction, but claimed he was "much better" now. In the same interview, he said he was making a formal demand to have access to their daughter Jessica, who was seven at the time of the interview. At the time, Arantes was living with his brother, a travel agent, in Paris. 

Prior to her blog, Rowling didn't talk much about her marriage. 

Prior to penning the blog in which she detailed the domestic violence she suffered at the hands of Arantes, Rowling rarely spoke in detail about her first marriage. “Obviously, you do not leave a marriage after that very short period of time unless there are serious problems. I’m not the kind of person who bales out without there being serious problems. My relationship before that lasted seven years. I’m a long-term girl. And I had a baby with this man. But it didn’t work. And it was clear to me that it was time to go, and so I went. I never regretted it," she said in 2000.

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Jessica Arantes, their daughter, is now a successful beauty blogger. 

Today, Jessica Arantes — Rowling and Arantes' only daughter — is a successful beauty blogger based in Portugal. She runs a very successful YouTube channel in which she shares her various beauty tips and tricks.

Arantes admitted to 'slapping' Rowing, and claimed he was 'not sorry' for doing so. 

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In the same recent interview, Arantes finally admitted to slapping Rowling, and said he was not sorry that he did so. He denied, however, Rowling's claims that she'd suffered "sustained abuse" at his hands. "I slapped Joanne — but there was not sustained abuse. I’m not sorry for slapping her. Yes. It is true I slapped her. But I didn't abuse her," he said.

His comments caused an uproar on social media. 

In almost no time at all, Arantes' comments caused a firestorm on social media, and you can see some of the comments from the more vocal fans below. 

While none of this excuses Rowling's transphobic comments, it certainly cannot be stated enough that even one slap is abuse. And it's imperative to get out of an abusive relationship as quickly as possible. 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.