In London, WPP”s Sir Martin Sorrell is dragging his former country chief for Italy, Marco Benatti, into the dock for libel. In Chicago, Lord Crossharbour is being tried for fraud and racketeering. His wife, Lady Barbara Amiel Black, is along for the ride and moral support. One side is enjoying the spotlight. The other appears to be barely holding on.
“At one point, Mr. Sorrell bounds out of the courtroom declaring, “I love to see lawyers wriggle.” Later, he mischievously taunts journalists by saying we were “missing a treat.” (AdAge)
It’s easy for Sorrell: he’s chasing payback for some apparently scurrilous allegations Benatti and a colleague posted about him.
For the Blacks, this is a trial long in the making. Lord Crossharbour’s media empire started falling apart three years ago, and the lawsuits began flowing soon after.
It seems that Lady Black finds the constant attention from an international corps of journalists a little more offputting than Sir Martin:
“Forced to travel from the courtroom in a lift packed with journalists, Lady Black said: “You journalists are vermin. I used to be a journalist and I didn’t doorstep people and I didn’t hold my nose in the elevator.”
It was a producer from the Canadian television broadcaster CBC who appeared to trigger the tirade. Lady Black shouted at her “you slut”. Alana Black, who is Lord Black’s daughter from his first marriage, giggled during the incident.” (Independent)
She lost me when she pandered to her 24 year old stepdaughter’s sense of humour. Much less Oscar Wilde, much more Dan Akroyd. On top of that, she insulted the journalist while the elevator doors were closing. Class act, eh?
A selection of Conrad Black’s quotes, courtesy of the Toronto Star.
[tags] Sorrell, WPP, courtroom behavior, courtroom behaviour, Amiel Black [/tags]