EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: ‘Wifelet’ of Lord Bath in eviction battle considers teaming up with love rival
The eccentric 7th Marquess of Bath claimed to have 74 lovers, or ‘wifelets’ as they became known.
It was a tricky juggling act for the man known as ‘The Loins of Longleat’ during his life — and keeping them satisfied is even more of a challenge since his death last year aged 87. I hear letters have just been sent to some of his paramours, to try to establish whether they will make claims for part of his £23 million estate.
Earlier this year, his son Ceawlin Thynn, who is now the 8th Marquess of Bath, started moves to evict one of his father’s ‘wifelets’, Trudi Juggernauth-Sharma, from her cottage on the family’s 10,000-acre Longleat Estate in Wiltshire, home to the celebrated safari park.
She received one of the letters from the executors’ lawyers, Sinclair Gibson, and tells me she was given until February next year to respond.
Lovers: The Marquess of Bath and Trudi Juggernauth-Sharma
Marquis of Bath and Jaganagh attend a party in 2004
The wifelets were known to fight for Lord Bath’s affections, but in an unlikely turn of events, Trudi is considering forming an alliance with another of his lovers, Amanda Doyle.
‘It’s amazing, but Amanda has actually suggested joining forces with me,’ Trudi tells me. Amanda is understood to be one of three wifelets still living on the estate, along with Mariella Antonella.
A lawyer from Sinclair Gibson confirms that a small number of women have been contacted by post. One such woman says she was ‘flabbergasted’ to receive the letter as she was categorically not a wifelet but a ‘respectable married woman’.
Marquess of Bath Viscount Weymouth and Liz Brewer in 1980
Marquis of Bath arriving with lady believed to be Ulla Turner in London
The lawyer says the women could have the legal right to make a claim on the estate, according to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. That Act states that, in certain circumstances, people who were financially dependent on the deceased can claim against their estate for financial provision, or further provision if the provision in the will was inadequate. Lord Bath had £14.4 million left from his £23 million fortune after taxes and any debts were paid, but snubbed his wifelets and gave £1 million to his wife Anna, 78.
The lawyer tells me: ‘Executors are required to administer the estates of deceased persons, and part of that process is identifying potential claims against estates. The purpose of the letter was to suggest to the individuals concerned that they take legal advice on their positions in order that the late Lord Bath’s estate can be administered in a timely fashion.’
Ceawlin Thynn could not be reached for comment.
Dornan sings 50 shades of soul
Jamie Dornan was happy to take the microphone at the party after his new film Belfast’s premiere in Los Angeles
It’s hard to imagine Christian Grey bursting into song, but Jamie Dornan was happy to take the microphone at the party after his new film Belfast’s premiere in Los Angeles.
The Northern Irish actor, 39, who plays stern Grey in the Fifty Shades films, belted out the song Everlasting Love.
His character sings the song to his wife in the coming-of-age film written and directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh.
‘That man can sing,’ one party-goer tells me. ‘He gave me goosebumps.’ Cheering him on were his co-stars Caitriona Balfe and Jude Hill.
Dornan says his singing scene in Belfast, which was inspired by Branagh’s childhood, was his favourite to film: ‘It was class. It felt joyous that day.’
Churchill backs Boris in wallpapergate fiasco
As Boris and Carrie Johnson face a new probe into the ‘wallpapergate’ controversy over their expensive Downing Street flat renovations, aristocratic interior decorator Jane Churchill is lending her support.
The designer, who was married to Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, late son of the 10th Duke of Marlborough, says the Prime Minister should not have had to put up with the John Lewis decorations of his predecessor, Theresa May. The Johnsons used designer Lulu Lytle for the refit, which included £840-a-roll wallpaper.
Churchill tells me: ‘Lulu Lytle has a shop opposite me that I buy lots from. I know she’s expensive, [but] it lasts for ever and it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t want to knock [John Lewis’s Sloane Square store] Peter Jones, as it’s my local shop and I adore it, but for Downing Street we can do one up from there. It’s ridiculous.’
Caroline keeps mum on playing Liz’s aged-up ma
Caroline Quentin was delighted when she won a leading role in the new Netflix film Father Christmas Is Back
Caroline Quentin was delighted when she won a leading role in the new Netflix film Father Christmas Is Back.
She may have been less thrilled when told that she would be playing the mother of Elizabeth Hurley’s character.
At 61, former Strictly star Quentin is a mere five years older than gravity-defying Hurley, 56.
‘To be fair, Liz does look at least ten years younger than her real age,’ says my man with the clapperboard.
It could be worse, I suppose. In the 2004 film Alexander, Angelina Jolie played Colin Farrell’s mother despite being just 12 months older than him.
She may have been less thrilled when told that she would be playing the mother of Elizabeth Hurley’s (pictured) character
He has sold more than 170 million copies of his books and been active in Hollywood and politics, but Ken Follett claims his life hasn’t been interesting enough to justify writing his memoirs.
The author, 72, insists his life story ‘is not very dramatic’.
His fans would beg to differ — not only has he had his work made into acclaimed TV series and films, but he also helped his wife, Barbara, become a Labour MP.
End of the dog days for grieving Jilly
‘Bluebell, my dog, died,’ she tells me at the Comedy Women In Print Awards at the Groucho Club in Soho
Jilly Cooper cheers up the nation with her bonkbuster novels, but was looking glum at a party this week.
‘Bluebell, my dog, died,’ she tells me at the Comedy Women In Print Awards at the Groucho Club in Soho, adding: ‘I’m heartbroken — I’ve had greyhounds for more than a decade.’ Bluebell comforted Cooper, 84, after her husband Leo’s death in 2013 — and she avoided foreign holidays for more than 20 years as she didn’t want to leave her.
‘I’ve felt quite alone without her,’ she says, ‘but I’m writing a book and I’m going to adopt a dog when I’ve finished — I just can’t focus on two babies at once.’
He helped grow the firm of his pottery queen ex-wife Emma Bridgewater, but during lockdown designer Matthew Rice found a new calling — painting onions.
‘It’s engaging to look another way at something people know well,’ he says. ‘One doesn’t usually have time to paint. It’s opened a new door.’
Rice — who will be showing his watercolours at the James Graham-Stewart gallery in Scrubs Lane, West London, next month — says he has to be careful about claiming the veg’s cost against his tax bill.
‘My designer mother fell foul of HMRC when she claimed for two lobsters,’ he tells me. ‘She said they were inspiration for a print she made. The man from HMRC said one lobster is inspiration; two is dinner.’
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