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Texas women sue 'Fifty Shades' publisher for royalties, advances

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Two Texas women, who said they were part of the original publishing team for "Fifty Shades of Grey," have filed a lawsuit seeking money from the global best-seller that they allegedly were tricked into surrendering by their Australian partner.

Jennifer Lynn Pedroza and Christa Beebe filed suit in a Tarrant County court in Texas on Thursday against Amanda Hayward and The Writers Coffee Shop publishing company seeking what they consider a fair share of the advances and royalties from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" erotic trilogy.

The Writers Coffee Shop (TWCS), where Hayward is chief executive, was not immediately available for comment.

The suit alleges that Hayward cut the two Texas women out of money generated by the novels through an agreement with Random House, which saw payments flow to Hayward and not her partners.

"She then fraudulently induced Pedroza and Beebe into signing 'service agreements' with TWCS, and subsequently terminated both of them," the lawsuit said.

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" series from British author E.L. James has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, its American publisher Vintage Books said in February.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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