Millionaire lingerie tycoon Baroness Michelle Mone is being sued for unlimited damages after allegations of racist remarks.
Financial consultant Richard Lynton-Jones has filed a writ against the retail tycoon in London’s High Court, claiming Mone sent him racist WhatsApp messages.
Lynton-Jones, who has Indian heritage, claimed that Mone sent him a message calling him “a waste of a man’s white skin” in June 2019, following a dispute over a fatal yacht crash.
He said Mone’s actions have resulted in “enormous distress, embarrassment and injury to feelings”, the Sun newspaper reported.
He is seeking a pay-out of at least £200,000 in aggravated damages.
In May 2019, a crew member died after a boat collided with the yacht belonging to Mone’s husband Douglas Barrowman.
Lawyers for the financial consultant have argued that Mone made defamatory comments on social media, falsely suggesting Lynton-Jones had wrongly accused Mone of making racist remarks.
Mone accused Lynton-Jones of “entitled white privilege” and failing to cooperate with police over the yacht crash.
They also said a comment made by Mone’s lawyers arguing that Lynton-Jones’ “appearance is 100 per cent white, with a cut-glass English accent,” was also defamatory.
Mone’s comments on Instagram implied the consultant was “reasonably suspected of involvement in the manslaughter of a young boy,” lawyers added.
The Tory peer’s 114,000 Instagram followers would have seen the claims while millions would have read news reports, lawyers claimed.
Lynton-Jones complained to the Met’s hate crime unit, the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards and the Committee on Standards in Public Life regarding the WhatsApp messages.
The baroness has also been accused of calling Lynton-Jones’ former partner “a mental loony” and “a nut case bird”.
Lynton-Jones is requesting an injunction to stop Mone from repeating the comments, damages, and costs.
After reports surfaced over the messages, Mone’s representatives said the baroness had no memory of the messages and no access to them.
They said the businesswoman was “100 per cent” not a racist and it was “illogical” and “inconceivable” that she “could or would have made such a comment or made it with the slightest racist intent”.
The statement added: “She is not prepared to comment on the messages unless and until their authenticity has been confirmed but Baroness Mone, in any event, very strongly denies that she is a racist, a sexist or that she has a lack of respect for those persons genuinely suffering with mental health difficulties.”