Rowling's cousin wanted to prove he's 'Potter' inspiration

  March 22, 2005 at 10:10 PM ET
  Cheeser     HPANA (via PAX-TV)
  ben rowling, lie detector, jk rowling's cousin


The cousin of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling appeared on television in the U.S. Tuesday in an attempt to prove he was the inspiration behind the massively popular books.

"I want to tell the truth," said Ben Rowling. "She based a lot of the character on myself." He said it was "aggravating" knowing what he believed was true when the author has publicly deniedopens in new window his claims. "It's about respect."

With Ben Rowling hooked up to a polygraph machine, he appeared on PAX-TV's Lie Detector and was asked:

  • Are you claiming to be the real-life Harry Potter to benefit from your cousin's financial success?
  • Are you claiming to be the real-life Harry Potter in order to have fame?

He responded "no" to each question and was told later in the show that their test indicated he was telling the truth. "I came here to prove I'm the real-life Harry Potter, and I did it," he said.

Rowling's goal in appearing on the television show was to get his cousin to call him. "No sour grapes, I'm very happy for her. I'm just setting the record straight." He claims JK Rowling "turned her back" on her family after writing Harry Potter and would not answer telephone calls from him and other members of their family.

Polygraph testing came under heavy scrutiny after 1988 when the U.S. passed the Employment Polygraph Protection Act. Judicial decisions since then prohibit polygraph tests from being permissible as evidence in trials, in almost all circumstances.

UPDATE: Veritaserum has the videoopens in new window.

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