Lucy Middleton, said to be a favorite cousin of the Duchess of Cambridge and godmother of Prince Louis, is embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with royal historian Anna Pasternak.
Middleton is head of legal affairs at publishing giant Penguin Random House, which Pasternak sued for plagiarism by one of its authors, American novelist Lara Prescott.
Pasternak claims that Prescott, in his bestselling book The Secrets We Kept, which tells the story of the publication of Doctor Zhivago, plagiarized his book Lara: The Untold Love Story That Inspired Doctor Zhivago. Anna is the niece of Russian writer Boris Pasternak, who wrote Doctor Zhivago, which was turned into an Oscar-winning epic.
Lucy Middleton (pictured), said to be a favorite cousin of the Duchess of Cambridge and godmother of Prince Louis, has been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with royal historian Anna Pasternak
Middleton is head of legal affairs at publishing giant Penguin Random House, which Anna Pasternak (pictured) sued for plagiarism by one of its authors, American novelist Lara Prescott
Prescott’s literary agent is said to have told Pasternak’s husband, psychotherapist Andrew Wallas, three times that the publisher intended to ‘destroy your wife in court’.
At last week’s procedural hearing, the publisher was represented by no less than seven lawyers. And they claimed recoverable legal fees of £1.2 million, which the judge promptly reduced substantially.
Pasternak accused Penguin Random House of ‘checkbook litigation’ and wondered if their tactic was to bully him into submission. Coincidentally, Pasternak wrote a famous article for Tatler about Kate Middleton last year, in which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge threatened to sue the magazine’s publisher, Conde Nast.
Pasternak claims that Prescott, in his bestselling book The Secrets We Kept (left), which tells the story of the publication of Doctor Zhivago, plagiarized his book Lara: The Untold Love Story That Inspired Doctor Zhivago (right)
The author told me: ‘I always felt that Lara Prescott and Penguin Random House were trying to force me out of this dispute by bluffing me with checkbook litigation, and by inflating costs unnecessarily.
‘Penguin has stepped in and used his corporate power to try to beat me into submission. Surely the days of big corporate bullies threatening their finances are now over?’
A publisher spokeswoman told me: ‘Ms Pasternak chose to bring proceedings, in full knowledge that they would be defended by Lara Prescott and her publisher, both of whom consider the claims to be unfounded and completely unfounded. At Penguin Random House UK, we have a long and proud history of supporting our authors against unsubstantiated claims and we will continue to do so in this case.’
Double look in Meghan’s best friend suit
The Duchess of Sussex’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney, has designed a range of women’s outfits and shared photos this week
If imitation is a genuine form of flattery, the Duchess of Sussex’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney, has given huge credit to Ralph & Russo — the designers behind Meghan’s £56,000 engagement gown.
Mulroney, whose twin sons became page boys at Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, has designed a variety of women’s suits and shared photos this week.
But a follower was quick to point out its striking resemblance to the suit from the 2018 Ralph & Russo collection, costing over £3,000.
But a follower was quick to point out the striking resemblance to the suit from Ralph & Russo’s 2018 collection, costing over £3,000.
‘The first suit fell. What do you think?’ Canadian stylist Jessica wrote in the caption, which she later edited to include: ‘Inspired by my favorite designers, Ralph & Russo. No designer prices!’
A spokeswoman for Jessica, whose husband is the son of former Canadian Prime Minister, TV host Ben Mulroney, said the image was an ‘inspiring image’.
Fans are also wondering how the new suit line is already ‘sold out’ and has a waiting list, even though there’s no clear buying method…
Archer star reveals secret cancer battle
Loyal audiences of The Archers were shocked when veteran character Lynda Snell was involved in an explosion earlier this year that left her with ‘serious injuries’ and nearly took her life.
Now, Carole Boyd, who has played the cocky but well-meaning Snell on the country soap opera Radio 4 since 1986, has revealed that she is secretly battling cancer in real life.
‘Theatrical doctors are taking over,’ Boyd told Michael Berkeley on the upcoming issue of Radio 3’s Private Passions. ‘You have to have this survival thing, that you’ll be fine.’
The actress, 74, said her main concern was the well-being of her husband, Patrick Harrison, whom she had cared for since he suffered a stroke in 2003.
‘My real concern is, ‘Will my health last? Will I be okay? Am I going to be okay looking after Patrick, and for how much longer?’
Is all bright for farmer Jeremy?
Maybe I made a mistake approaching Jeremy Clarkson while he was queuing for Vietnamese noodles at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
Jeremy Clarkson was fired by the BBC after he punched a Top Gear producer for failing to give him a hot dinner, so maybe I made a mistake when I approached him while he was queuing for Vietnamese noodles at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
And he does seem a little crazy, despite the success of his Amazon TV show, Clarkson’s Farm. It documents his efforts to farm 1,000 acres in the Cotswolds. ‘My second series is unconfirmed, annoying,’ he told me. Motormouth, 61, with his girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, 47, (right).
“I was just looking around my garden,” he told me. ‘I’m not good at flowers, but I take pictures for my gardener. He’ll get it for me.’
The show’s theme is green gardening, but Clarkson happily admits he’s ‘spray’ [the herbicide] glyphosate everywhere’.
Well-connected landowner Henry Pelly engages in a stunning second row with locals on a trail near his £1.25m home.
He caused a stir in 2016 when he closed a trail ‘where locals have walked for 100 years’ after buying a home in Wiltshire. But after 81 objections, a planning inspector told him it should be reopened.
Now, Pelly is asking the Wiltshire Council for permission to transfer some of it, mainly to protect his ‘privacy’. A defiant local Katherine Beaumont stated: ‘I have raised my objections. It belongs to the village.’
Buzz TV for Jude girls
Jude Law’s daughter, Iris, will make her acting debut in the TV series Sex Pistols
Jude Law’s daughter, Iris, will soon be making her acting debut in the TV series Sex Pistols directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle.
The punk drama definitely made a big impression on model Burberry, 20, when she transformed her long brown hair into a 1970s-style blonde haircut.
He said he was initially offered a wig for the role of punk icon Soo Catwoman. “I wanted to do something that felt liberating,” he explains. ‘The day I shaved my head, I changed my life.’
While many celebrities love to lecture on ‘wake up’ issues online, Anthea Turner prefers to get her hands dirty.
Former Blue Peter presenter took part in our Great British Spring Clean campaign and has created Transport for London to remove trash and graffiti. ‘Putting something on Twitter doesn’t do much,’ he tells me.