The Harry Potter author JK Rowling has spoken about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former husband, saying he tried to lock away the unpublished manuscript of the series’ first book to stop her leaving him.

Speaking on the Witch Trials of JK Rowling, a podcast series released on Tuesday, the author described her relationship with Jorge Arantes as violent and controlling, saying she had to sneak pages of the work away in small batches to photocopy in case he burned them…

Rowling described living in “a horrible state of tension” with Arantes because she had to hide her desire to leave him. “And yet the manuscript kept growing. I’d continue to write. In fact, he knew what that manuscript meant to me because at one point he took the manuscript and hid it and that was his hostage.”

Becoming increasingly determined to leave, she would secretly “take a few pages of the manuscript into work every day – just a few pages so that he wouldn’t realize anything was missing – and photocopy it”.