Former lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone was seen for the first time in Chelsea on Tuesday after racist allegations against her came to light.
Ms Mone, 50, looked casually glamorous in a designer ensemble as she stepped out for lunch in Chelsea with husband Doug Barrowman, 56.
Known as Baroness Mone, she was accused of calling a man of Indian heritage ‘a waste of a man’s white skin’ in a WhatsApp message following a fatal boat crash in 2019. She insisted that she had believed him to be ‘100 per cent white and British’.
First sighting: Michelle Mone, 50, looked casually glamorous in a designer ensemble as she stepped out with husband Doug Barrowman, 56, for lunch in Chelsea on Tuesday – after racist allegations against her came to light
Walking arm-in-arm with husband Doug, Ms Mone donned a black top, blue skinny jeans, a black statement trench coat and £510 Gucci sneakers.
She accessorised with a black and gold Valentino belt, worth approximately £430, and a £1,690 black crocodile effect Balenciaga handbag.
Ms Mone showed off glamorous blonde tresses despite a sudden downpour, and opted for glamorous makeup.
Meanwhile, her husband looked sharp in a tailored sweater and suit combination.
The sighting comes after Ms Mone claimed that a man of Indian heritage put a Native American style headdress on her during a day of ‘drinking and partying’, just weeks before he accused her of racially abusing him.
The former lingerie tycoon risked being accused of ‘cultural insensitivity’ by donning the headdress made of black feathers during an al fresco lunch at an expensive restaurant on the French Riviera.
She was pictured in the controversial headgear just three weeks before she allegedly sent the offensive WhatsApp message to financial consultant Richard Lynton-Jones, describing him as being a ‘waste of a man’s white skin’.
Making headlines: The sighting comes after Ms Mone claimed that a man of Indian heritage put a Native American style headdress on her during a day of ‘drinking and partying’, just weeks before he accused her of racially abusing him
Lady Mone and her husband were with Monaco-based Mr Lynton-Jones, 42, and 15 other people on two superyachts when they all had lunch together at La Guerite restaurant set on a rocky cove overlooking Cannes on the small island of Île Sainte-Marguerite.
She claimed that Mr Lynton-Jones had put the headgear on her head after fetching it from a box of fancy dress hats and outfits at the restaurant.
The lavish day out ended in tragedy when the second yacht which had Mr Lynton-Jones on board smashed into the yacht owned by Lady Mone’s multi-millionaire husband, killing a British deckhand.
She made a statement apologising for any offence she had caused after MailOnline told her that it had a photograph of her wearing the headdress, and a second snap showing her with her husband who was wearing another headdress with white feathers.
Ms Mone admitted having it on for a brief period and claimed to have been ‘set up’ by having it placed on her head by the man who later accused her of racism.
Incident: Ms Mone risked being accused of ‘cultural insensitivity’ by donning the headdress made of black feathers during an al fresco lunch at an expensive restaurant on the French Riviera
Mr Lynton-Jones said he had ‘no memory’ of placing any headdress on Lady Mone’s head during the lunch at the restaurant which he described as ‘a long day’.
He claimed that the video in which he was filmed saying, ‘Michelle, Michelle, I’ve got one for you too’ could have shown an incident when he had just bought two USB sticks of stored music from the restaurant’s DJ at the request of her husband.
When told that it had been suggested that he put the headgear on Lady Mone, he said: ‘I have no memory of that action. It was a long day and I have no memory of doing that at all to be honest.
‘What I can’t understand is why she is trying to drag me back into this again? All I ever wanted from her was an apology for the racist comment. The Indian headdress has nothing to do with what she called me.
‘I have suffered racial abuse throughout my life and as usual when you stand up for what is right and call it out, you end up being attacked.’
Timeline: The former lingerie tycoon, nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’, was pictured wearing the headdress along with her husband Doug Barrowman three weeks before she allegedly sent a racist text to a private banker of Indian heritage
Mr Lynton-Jones was shown video footage of him at the restaurant saying, ‘Michelle, Michelle, I’ve got one for you too’.
But he said, ‘Ah, that might have been referring to a USB stick. Doug had asked me to get a USB stick of music from the DJ for his boat and another for his house. He gave me money to pay for it and I went to get them. I think that is most likely what I was doing.’
Asked to respond to the claim that he had tried to ‘set up’ Lady Mone by putting the headdress on her head, he said: ‘That is just bizarre. Why would I plan something two years later about racism after a yacht crash which had not yet taken place?
‘I don’t know why she keeps dragging me back into this. All I want is an apology for her racist abuse. It has no place in today’s society, especially from a member of the House of Lords.
‘I have suffered abuse my whole life. I was attacked and spent weeks in hospital. I had three brain haemorrhages, three fractures to my skull, a broken nose and a broken cheek bone from a racist attack. I am very much anti racism.’
The wearing of headdresses made of feathers used to be popular at music festivals and at fancy dress parties, but has become increasingly taboo and seen as culturally inappropriate in recent years.
Alleged incident: Ms Mone (pictured on the yacht Lady M in an unknown location) allegedly sent the racist message to a financial consultant in 2019 after a yacht crash which killed one team member
Traders were banned from selling them at the Glastonbury music festival in 2014 after it was deemed to be ‘disrespectful’ and potentially offensive to use part of an ethnic minority’s traditional culture as a fun fashion accessory.
Native American activists have repeatedly spoken out against people from other cultures putting on headdresses which are traditionally only worn by tribal leaders who have earned great respect.
Ms Mone said in her statement: ‘I am horrified at the suggestion of certain individuals who have a clear axe to grind against me that my husband or I would either say or act in a way which could even be construed as racist.
‘I have spent my life and career supporting many charitable causes all over the world. The irony of this photograph from almost three years ago is that the headdress was placed on my head by the very man trying to attack my character.
Claims: Lady Mone is accused of telling Richard Lynton-Jones (pictured), a former friend, who is half-Indian, he was a ‘waste of a man’s white skin’ and described Mr Lynton-Jones’ former fiancee (pictured) as a ‘nut case bird’ and ‘mental loony’
Pictured: Mr Lynton-Jones is pictured (left) in footage where he says, ‘Michelle, Michelle, I’ve got one for you too’ while Ms Mone’s husband Mr Barrowman puts on a Native American headdress at a party at an exclusive restaurant on the French Riviera
‘Richard Lynton-Jones chose it, retrieved it and placed it on my head, having selected it from a back room in the restaurant where there was a selection of national costumes.
‘Doug and I were naïve in allowing these headdresses to be placed on our heads, and in my case by Mr Lynton-Jones, for a short period.
‘Although in my mind now that this was a clear set-up, I regret any offence caused, which was entirely unintentional. They were one of many national costumes worn by the party at the restaurant that day.
‘I only wish now that I had recognised that this appears to have been a set-up all along to cause unjustified damage to me and my family. I will not stand by and allow anyone to misrepresent me or my family for what seem to be wholly improper motives.’
Former friend: Mr Lynton-Jones, 42, a private banker who lives in Monaco (pictured with his former fiancee) describes himself as a former friend of Mone. He says Mone knew of his Indian heritage, a claim that she denies
Pictured: Ms Mone is seen last month as she celebrated her 50th birthday
Ms Mone and her husband went back with their friends and relatives to his 88ft yacht Minx after the meal at the restaurant on May 25, 2019, and had their boat rafted to the other yacht Vision chartered by British internet gaming millionaire Richard Skelhorn so they could continue the fun day out on the water.
The two groups deciding to return to shore in the early evening when it was still daylight after more than five hours of partying.
The French skipper of the Vision then accidentally ploughed into Mr Barrowman’s boat after losing control at high speed as he was turning round to head for home.
An MAIB investigation found the skipper had cannabis in his bloodstream, and referred to guests on both boats ‘drinking and partying’ in the hours before the accident.
British deckhand Jake Feldwhere, 27, was on the foredeck of the Minx preparing to lift the anchor when he was struck and killed in the collision on the last day of the Cannes film festival.
Mr Lynton-Jones told last week how Lady Mone had sent him the offensive WhatsApp message in a group chat, describing him as a ‘waste of a white man’s skin’ and referring to his partner as a ‘nut case bird’ and a ‘mental loony’.
The message was allegedly sent after he told her to ‘f**k off’ because she questioned how psychologically affected his partner had been by the accident as she claimed they had been ‘partying’ just days later.
Mr Lynton-Jones made an official complaint about Lady Mone to the House of Lords commissioner for standards in August this year, saying that the messages were ‘derogatory and racist’ towards him and ‘abusive and derogatory’ about his partner’s mental health.
But the commissioner declined to investigate because they were not sent in the course of Lady Mone’s parliamentary duties.
Former lingerie tycoon: Ms Mone appeared in her very own lingerie shoot for the first time in September 2010
Her representatives said last week that she strongly denied making any comments with racist intent and had believed that Mr Lynton-Jones was ‘100 per cent white and British’.
They said she also denied having a lack of respect for ‘those persons genuinely suffering with mental health difficulties’.
Her representatives also denied last week that she had a lack of respect for ‘those persons genuinely suffering with mental health difficulties’.
According to screenshots seen by The Guardian, the bust-up between Mr Lynton-Jones and Lady Mone erupted on WhatsApp after he hit back at her questioning claims that his partner had been seriously traumatised by the yacht incident, saying: ‘I would prefer you back the f**k off’.
Lady Mone is said to have replied: ‘OMG what a pile of crap!! You are talking to me, a smart, bright individual who doesn’t get taken in by your s**t!
‘In fact my bulls**t detector was on you from day 1. You & your mental loony of a girlfriend have been parting [sic] like mad! … You need to get a grip and have respect for a guy that was killed!!!
‘Funny how your mad girlfriend has now deleted all the pictures, don’t worry I have screenshots of the dates and times. 48 hours after the guy was killed. Your [sic] a low life, a waste of a mans [sic] white skin so don’t give us your lies. Your [sic] a total disgrace.’
She is said to have added: ‘Now you deal with the police enquiries including your nut case bird.’
Events: Ms Mone (pictured in 2017) sold her lingerie company Ultimo in 2014 and was sworn in as a life peer by then Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Lords in 2015
He is said to have replied: ‘A waste of a white mans skin? Did not know you were racist, Michelle.’ Fifteen minutes later, Lady Mone allegedly wrote back: ‘Your [sic] blocked and take your mental case to the police station.’
While she has not confirmed the exact wording of her messages, Lady Mone has said that at the time she sent them she was speaking up out of respect for Mr Feldwhere.
She insisted the term she used was not racist, saying in an Instagram post: ‘Since when did calling out an entitled privileged white man constitute racism?
‘Quite the opposite – the accusations I have read today against me are full of contradictions.
‘I will set the record straight on this defamation before deciding on any legal action. What I do know is the disgrace this man made of the young boy’s life who was lost; partying with his girlfriend on Instagram Stories days after the tragedy and not responding to the police.
‘Almost three years ago, I defended a young boy who tragically lost his life. The investigation they are involved in is still ongoing. I will assist in any way that I can.’
Calling someone ‘a waste of a white man’s skin’ is believed to have its roots in South Africa in the late 1940s and early 50s, when it was used by middle-class whites in positions of power to describe poor white people who were believed to have brought shame on their race.
Pictured: Crewman Jake Feldwhere, 27, was on the foredeck of Minx preparing to lift the anchor when he was struck and killed off the coast of Île Sainte-Marguerite in 2019
Mr Lynton-Jones defended himself last week, saying: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong apart from be a victim of racism. My whole issue here is the fact that she was racist.
‘She was mentally abusing my then-girlfriend who is my ex-fiancee now because of everything that happened.’
Lady Mone’s lawyers had told the Guardian it was ‘illogical as it is inconceivable that she could or would have made such a comment or made it with the slightest racist intent’ because she had no knowledge that the man ‘was anything other than white British, as his appearance is 100% white, with a cut-glass English accent’.
Mr Lynton-Jones began his career with the Queen’s bank Coutts, working in Jersey on offshore services for clients. He was a vice president at Barclays Wealth in both Jersey and Monaco before joining the Monaco office of investment bank UBS.
He specialises in working with ultra high-net worth individuals with investable assets of at least 50 million euros.
In 2018, he joined Mone and Barrowman’s new virtual currency venture called Equi which they claimed would be the British Bitcoin. Lynton-Jones was appointed head of capital raising and investor relations.
Asked why he came forward two and a half years after receiving the messages from Lady Mone, he said: ‘It took six months to get over that yacht crash.
‘Then, after many years, we finally have a platform to stand up to people who are racist, with George Floyd and Black Lives Matter and We Race As One [the F1 World Championship initiative].
‘Racism has no place in this society, let alone for a member of the House of Lords who should be safeguarding the civil rights of the British population and should not go out and say ‘you’re a waste of a man’s white skin’. That’s disgusting.’
Former model Lady Mone who has three children founded her Ultimo bra empire with her former husband Michael Mone in the 1990s.
She was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ after being elevated to the House of Lords in 2015, where her official title is Baroness Mone of Mayfair.
The MAIB report suggested that a person on the Vision had egged on the French skipper to attempt a high speed pass of Minx which ended in disaster. But the allegation has been vigorously denied by lawyers acting for Mr Skelhorn.
Blood sample tests conducted the day after the accident indicated that Vision’s skipper was under the influence of cannabis, which was likely to have impaired his judgement.’
Pictured: The other boat ‘Vision’ was chartered by British internet gaming millionaire Richard Skelhorn
It added: ‘The collision occurred because Vision’s skipper attempted an unsafe, close high-speed pass, then lost control immediately after turning directly towards Minx.
‘Minx’s crewman was on the foredeck and could do nothing to avoid being struck and was killed instantly by the force of the impact.
‘As professional seafarers in a commercial environment, motor yacht skippers have a duty of care to the guests, the vessel, their crew and other water users.
‘In the motor yacht industry, owners and charterers are on vacation; they will want to relax, be pampered and party, but they might also want to be entertained, perhaps even thrilled, by the experience of being at sea for their leisure.
‘In this environment, motor yacht skippers and crew must stay in control of the yacht and not allow themselves to get caught up in the party atmosphere.
Mr Feldwhere from Midhurst, West Sussex, had only arrived in the south of France four weeks before the tragedy, having just completed a basic boat training course.
It is believed that French investigators have ruled out bringing a manslaughter charge over his death, but the French skipper is facing possible lesser charges about the way the Vision was operated.
Simon Sloane, a spokesperson for Mr Skelhorn said: ‘Our primary concern has, and always will be, for the family and friends of Mr Feldwhere and we would like to, once again, express our sincere sorrow for their loss.
‘Regrettably, the MAIB report into the collision contained a number of factual errors alleging wrong-doing by Vision’s owner and the charterer.
‘There was no substance to these allegations, in particular that anyone on board Vision urged the captain to carry out any manoeuvre(s) immediately before the collision.
‘Following a detailed police enquiry performed by maritime gendarme and an ad hoc court appointed surveyor, criminal proceedings have been brought solely against the captain of Vision in France and there were never any grounds for prosecuting the owner, charterer or any other persons on board Vision.
‘This has now been formally recognised by the French Prosecutor who has publicly stated there are no grounds for prosecuting any other party.
‘Unfortunately, the MAIB appears to have been taken in by mischief making by others when they published their report.’
Statement: Lawyers for the House of Lords member (pictured with Barrowman) said she has no ‘detailed memory’ or ‘access’ to the messages and denied that she is a racist
Michelle Mone steps out with husband in Chelsea after racist allegations against her came to light Source link Michelle Mone steps out with husband in Chelsea after racist allegations against her came to light