Having watched with a certain morbid fascination the fiasco of Sarah Ferguson’s life, and her interview with wannabe prosecuting attorney Oprah Winfrey (Barbara Walters’s usual turf, but she’s OOA), I have this very American advice to give her:
Sue for performance of what was a contract, for the full amount of 500,000 pounds which translates to about 730,000 dollars, plus punitive damages for a variety of reasons. Attorneys will line up for the opportunity to represent Fergie, just for the exposure, or at worst on a contingency basis. This will get her off the hook financially, and avoid her impending bankruptcy. British courts are lenient towards defendants in libel, slander and defamation cases, especially where it concerns Britain’s gutter press. Or the suit could be pressed in a New York court, for the first meeting was in a NY hotel.
It is clear that a contract was made, and passes the meeting of the minds test. That the businessman was a reporter playing a role is his problem. And there’s money to be collected, the News of the World is very rich.
(As an aside, it’s Interesting how Brits are willing to sit down and speak for themselves, while Americans such as Oprah will cover themselves with a thick layer of attorneys, and never, ever, speak up, except when forced to under oath in a courtroom because their lying attorneys failed in their usual ploy of keeping their client off the stand. Does this make Americans better people? I wonder.)