SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Top City novelist Samantha Phillips is kicked out of her £35million Chelsea townhouse amid a ‘personal vendetta’
Samantha Phillips is once more centre-stage — though not quite as she would have hoped — in an extraordinary tale involving a £20 million Titian and a Turkish lover
She was the City broker whose debut novel, Blonde Ambition, catapulted her into the bestseller lists with its colourful story of vice and fraud in the Square Mile.
Now Samantha Phillips is once more centre-stage — though not quite as she would have hoped — in an extraordinary tale involving a £20 million Titian and a Turkish lover.
She has, I can disclose, been both declared bankrupt and become the subject of an eviction order which will turf her out of one of London’s most expensive properties, a £35 million townhouse in Chelsea. Her partner, Turkish businessman Mehmet Sozbilir, is also named in the eviction order, along with the couple’s daughter Sianna.
Phillips tells me that she is the victim of ‘a personal vendetta’, explaining that she and Sozbilir rented the house for a year — at £14,000-a-week — ‘with no problem’.
Then, in March last year, came lockdown. At which point, she alleges, the owner wanted them to buy the property for £35 million.
‘We then subsequently found out some things which made it impossible for us to live there. I can’t go into detail,’ adds Phillips.
She says that she later agreed to an ‘absolutely insane, crazy contract’ of two years’ rent for £1,850,000, with a first instalment of £1 million payable last year and the rest this March. Failure to pay led to bankruptcy and impending eviction.
She, Sozbilir and Sianna have to leave by May 4, despite offering a painting, said to be a £20 million Titian, as security for their debts.
But an expert commissioned by their landlord concluded that it was ‘very unlikely’ to be a Titian — and was worth only £30,000.
Phillips alleges that the expert had ‘never actually adjudicated a Titian before’.
Phillips, who famously won a case against her old City firm for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination, tells me she is preparing a script for a Netflix adaptation of Blonde Ambition.
‘I’ve done half of it,’ she says. ‘Hopefully I’ll just find somewhere quiet to go and get it finished.’
Phillips, who famously won a case against her old City firm for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination, tells me she is preparing a script for a Netflix adaptation of Blonde Ambition
Directing a photoshoot in Chelsea for her fashion label Cefinn, she gave a thumbs-up as she attracted attention from passers-by
SamCam directs the heat away from Dave
Former PM David Cameron is keeping a low profile after being criticised for lobbying ministers on behalf of Greensill, a company in which he had a commercial interest.
But his wife, Samantha, is happy to be in the spotlight.
Directing a photoshoot in Chelsea for her fashion label Cefinn, she gave a thumbs-up as she attracted attention from passers-by — one of whom was boxing champion David Haye, who even parked his convertible Rolls-Royce to watch.
Di’s brother pens real deal
Having established himself as a distinguished historian, Princess Diana’s younger brother Earl Spencer is now turning his literary gaze on himself.
I can reveal Charles Spencer, custodian of Althorp House in Northamptonshire, is in the process of penning a memoir which has already received praise from his wife, Countess Spencer, who has been given a preview.
‘I’ve just finished reading the book my husband is writing about his childhood. It’s very moving,’ says Karen. With its title and publication date yet to be confirmed, his wife’s disclosure comes just months after Charles publicly criticised Netflix drama The Crown for its depiction of his family. ‘It’s playing fast and loose with history without saying that,’ he declared.
Eton-educated Charles, 56, a godson of the Queen, was born to John Spencer, the 8th Earl Spencer, and Frances Shand Kydd, before their troubled marriage ended in divorce when he was four years old.
He grew up at Althorp with three older sisters — Sarah, Jane, and Diana.
Oscar-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice, who has written the song Gee Seven to mark Cornwall hosting this summer’s G7 summit of world leaders, admits he had mixed feelings about the idea.
‘I had minimal interest in the G7 agenda, but I was interested in the number seven. I’ve always loved numbers, and an interesting tale could be woven around the impact that number has had on our civilisation and existence over the millennia.’
Strictly Come Dancing’s oldest winner Bill Bailey, 56, worries he’s losing his rural burr. ‘When I return to Somerset, I notice everyone still has this brilliant accent,’ he says. ‘But mine has watered down quite a lot — and I’m not too happy about that. I’m from Somerset and I like people to know it. Trouble is I’ve had to live in London for a while. I think I’ve been losing my accent without realising it.’
The Earl of Carnarvon’s niece, model Frankie Herbert, wants people to talk about their problems instead
Frankie spreads peace of mind
Aristocrats used to be associated with a stiff upper lip, but the Earl of Carnarvon’s niece, model Frankie Herbert, wants people to talk about their problems instead.
So much so that the 25-year-old, who once strutted down the catwalk in front of the Queen, has now qualified as a therapist.
‘I want to dedicate my life to helping others achieve confidence in themselves, beat depression and anxiety, overcome phobias and eating disorders, heal trauma and, most importantly, reach their potential,’ says Frankie, granddaughter of the Queen’s racing manager, Lord ‘Porchie’ Porchester.
She adds therapy ‘changed my life when I had my first session, it gave me a level of understanding of myself I did not think was even possible’.
Normalised for the best actress Oscar for Promising Young Woman ahead of this weekend’s ceremony, Carey Mulligan reveals that her mother gifted her the colourful fingernails belonging to her character as a good luck charm.
‘She grabbed me right before I left for the airport and said: ‘I have a thing for you, but it’s a bit weird.’
‘I was like, ‘OK,’ and she gave me this creepy box of nails I wore in the film,’ says Mulligan, 35.
As it turned out, they fitted in perfectly with the candy-coated design aesthetic of the film, though Carey couldn’t wait to say goodbye to her fake talons. ‘After the last day of filming, I came home and I was on the sofa and started ripping them off because they’d been really annoying,’ she said. ‘I left them on the side and my mum squirreled them away.’
St Trinian’s 2 star Lady Clara Paget admits she’ll never forget being put in her place by the late Dame Barbara Windsor while shooting the Sky comedy Little Crackers.
‘It was one of my first jobs,’ recalls Lady Clara, 32, daughter of the 8th Marquess of Anglesey.
‘I get very fidgety and I was waiting between scenes, and ended up speaking to the lighting guy, the gaffer, getting involved.
‘She came storming up to me — this tiny little thing — and said: ‘Clara, please stop offering. You have to know your role on set. They’re going to call you, and you’re going to be off somewhere!’ ‘
Strictly Come Dancing’s oldest winner Bill Bailey, 56, worries he’s losing his rural burr. ‘When I return to Somerset, I notice everyone still has this brilliant accent,’ he says.
‘But mine has watered down quite a lot — and I’m not too happy about that. I’m from Somerset and I like people to know it. Trouble is I’ve had to live in London for a while. I think I’ve been losing my accent without realising it.’
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