Florence Given has finally spoken out again, four weeks on from her original statement
She hired two lawyers to check for plagiarism
Florence Given has finally spoken out again on Instagram about the ongoing dispute between herself and Chidera Eggerue, four weeks since she first responded to plagiarism claims.
On her Instagram story, Florence wrote a second lengthy response to claims that her book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, has plagiarised themes, concepts and the design of Chidera’s book, What A Time To Be Alone.
Florence called Chidera’s claims “baseless” and “without merit”. To check, she hired two lawyers who “specialise in intellectual property” who believed there was no plagiarism or copyright infringement in WDOYP.
In other developments, Florence’s publisher Octopus contacted Chidera asking for evidence of plagiarism. “They made it clear that there’s no substance to her claims, but asked her to provide evidence of her accusations if she was going to continue to make them”, Florence said.
In response, Chidera shared Florence’s post confirming the publishers had sent her a letter, adding: “Florence has been given time to review her own behaviour and decide how she intends to approach paying me my repatriations but she has decided, as predicted, to summon the power of white supremacy to attempt to silence me.”
Last week Chidera, also known as The Slumflower, said WDOYP was “significantly copied”, and called for Florence to either pull the book from shelves and give her the royalties, or split her royalties 70-30.
View this post on Instagram
Florence’s full post last night read:
“So over the last month there have been accusations of plagiarism made against my book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, across social media. Accusations like this are usually made in the form of legal letters, but since this has transpired over Instagram I will be addressing it on here.
“For clarity, Chidera and I have different publishers. My publisher (Octopus) reached out to her last week directly, after the post she made on January 5th. They made it clear that there’s no substance to her claims, but asked her to provide evidence of her accusations if she was going to continue to make them (as plagiarism isn’t an opinion, it’s based on fact). To date they have not received a response.
“I can confirm that the accusations against my book are entirely baseless and without merit. To be absolutely certain, I had asked my publisher if we could get a lawyer to look at these claims. Two lawyers who specialise in intellectual property have separately reviewed both mine and both of Chidera’s books fully, and BOTH lawyers found absolutely NO plagiarism or copyright infringement in Women Don’t Owe You Pretty.
“No one has a monopoly on writing about their experiences. The last thing I want is for women to look at what’s happened here as reason to not write books on similar subjects. We need more of it! Keep writing, keep creating, keep putting your shit out there, because someone WILL connect to it. even if it’s just one person,. it makes it all fucking worth it.”
View this post on Instagram
Florence was first accused of copying Chidera’s work in December. She was accused of profiting off “black ideas, black activism and black work”.
After calling Florence out, Chidera was dropped from the management company she shared with Florence. She has continued to call for answers from Given, the publishers and management regarding the similarities of the books and for repatriations.