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Piracy fear after new 50 Shades draft stolen

By Robert Dex

EL James's publisher has said it will not rush to release her latest Fifty Shades novel despite fears pirate copies could appear after a manuscript of the sado-masochistic tale was stolen.

The book, titled Grey, is a reworking of the original Fifty Shades Of Grey, which was a worldwide bestseller and inspired a hit film and a surge of erotic novels.

James has rewritten the book, about an affair between the mysterious tycoon Christian Grey - played in the film by Bangor actor Jamie Dornan - and lover Anastasia Steele, from the point of view of its title character.

A spokeswoman for Penguin Random House said: "Grey will be published on June 18 - Christian Grey's birthday - as planned.

"We can confirm that the Kent police are investigating the theft of a finished copy of EL James's new book Grey. We will not be issuing any further statement."

It's understood that Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who played his lover in the film version of the story, are not under contract to film the spin-off movie.

Dornan, who played serial killer Paul Spector in Belfast-based TV drama The Fall, told the Hollywood Reporter that he was enjoying having more say in his roles.

"It's funny, but for the first time in my life, I'm presented with an element of choice as an actor - maybe just a tiny element of choice," he laughed.

"I kind of want to abuse it. It's all about chasing interesting characters and scripts, whether on TV, big-budget movies or tiny indie movies. I would never pressure myself to choose just one. That said, some of the best writing is on TV. You get a chance to play with a character year after year. That's a luxury that you don't get in film."

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