Controversial Anglo-Iranian businessman Darius Guppy has claimed he recently emptied a bag of horse manure on to a British journalist as revenge for an article.
Guppy, an old friend of Earl Spencer and Boris Johnson, said he was acting out of revenge over insults made against his wife.
He said the incident followed an article in The Spectator earlier this year, where he criticised BBC journalist Eddie Mair for his interview technique with Johnson. Mair described the London mayor as a “nasty piece of work”, citing a tape recording of a conversation some years ago in which Guppy asked Johnson to help him track down a journalist who he said he wanted to have beaten up.
Guppy claims in a column in this week's New Statesman magazine that when he failed to answer questions sent to him by an unnamed journalist, an article appeared in a newspaper that he did not agree with and which insulted his wife.
He wrote: “[H]aving discovered his address and flown into London from South Africa where I live, I waited for him to emerge from his house, chased him, and then, having knocked him to the ground, emptied over his head a sack of horse manure rendered slurry by the addition of bottled water – a concoction made possible courtesy of Hyde Park Riding School and the springs of Évian.
“The aim had been not to hurt him but to humiliate him as he had sought to humiliate my wife. And humiliate him is exactly what I did, in front of his neighbours who had poured out on to the street at the sound of his screams.”
Guppy claims he also had two “accomplices, who did not touch him”, who he said recorded the event, but did not upload it onto the internet.
In the article, Guppy attacks the state of the British press and says the morals of the media in this country are beneath those of criminals he met while in jail. Guppy was jailed for five years in 1993 after being found guilty of fraud.
He wrote: “The sad truth is that, bar the odd exception, the most ruthless armed robbers I met in jail had more honour and more sense of code than the British media.”