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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

More news on Lord Black and Barbara Amiel - Barbara is of course one of A Wintour's best friends, she appeared next to AW in fashion shows, they were often reported having launch together in NYC and she also appeared in a big US Vogue feature. Black ownes (owned?) the UK Telegraph, which is of course the official voice of the London vogueys.

"...Lord Black plundered his former company, Hollinger International, the then owner of the Daily Telegraph, on a vast scale, according to a 500-page report published yesterday. The document, the result of a yearlong internal investigation, embellishes an earlier $1.25bn lawsuit against Lord Black and other former executives of the company, accusing them of extraordinary greed. According to the latest report, Lord Black charged the company almost $43,000 (£27,000) for a birthday party he threw for his wife Barbara Amiel at New York's La Grenouille restaurant. Celebrity guests, including Oscar de la Renta, Barbara Walters and Ron Perelman, enjoyed Beluga caviar and lobster. The couple also claimed as expenses $2,463 for Lady Black's handbags, $3,530 for silverware for the Blacks' corporate jet and $24,950 for "summer drinks". Publication of the long-awaited report could accelerate parallel investigations by US criminal and financial authorities.
Lord Black and a small coterie, including the former deputy chairman of the company, David Radler, have been accused of skimming more than $400m from the business in the past seven years. The lawsuit, including damages, is for three times that amount.
They have been accused of taking excessive compensation, unapproved bonuses, fees and loans, and selling themselves assets from the company at bargain prices, as well as the headline grabbing personal expenses.
The report also singles out a former US assistant secretary of defence, Richard Perle (one of the top neoconservative heroes, says FV) who sat on the Hollinger International board, for particular criticism. It hints that the company may launch a separate legal claim against him to claim back money he earned as a director.
Mr Perle was accused of a "head-in-the-sand" mentality, rubber-stamping Lord Black's actions while being awarded a $3m bonus..."

"... it all went bad after Black's wife, Barbara Amiel Black, opened her closets to Vogue, gushing that "I have an extravagance that knows no bounds". The excess inspired a disgruntled Hollinger shareholder to go looking for Black's skeletons
..."

So, company shareholders can thank AW for helping them getting rid of the Blacks (who also own half of Canada's media) - I don't think her NYC cronies will be too eager to report on all this...



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