The writer and commentator Brooke Magnanti – better known as the former high class call girl Belle de Jour – is reportedly suing her former boyfriend for libel on the grounds that he has suggested she was not a prostitute at the time of their relationship.
Dr Magnanti’s legal team is expected to argue that such a claim would be instead damaging to the reputation of a woman who made her name writing a blog about her time working as an escort, which went on to become two bestselling books and the successful TV series starring Billie Piper, Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
The claim appears to have been lodged in response to her ex-boyfriend Owen Morris, a former RAF officer identified only as The Boy in the book, who in 2013 began proceedings against her for defamation and breach of privacy, claiming the publicity surrounding the book destroyed his air force career and damaged his reputation.
The news website Vice has reported that papers lodged at Edinburgh’s Court of Session show Dr Magnanti has decided to counter-sue, claiming her reputation was damaged by doubt being cast over whether she had been a call girl.
Should it go ahead, Dr Magnanti’s libel claim could well be the first in the UK from a woman claiming she was defamed by suggestions she was not a prostitute.One for Mr Justice Cocklecarrot, methinks.