David Sherborne: the ‘Wagatha Christie’ star lawyer with a celebrity following

2 days ago 14

The hotshot libel barrister to A-listers including Johnny Depp and Hugh Grant has a private life to match that of many of his clients

Perhaps the nearest a British courtroom has come to the famous last act of the film A Few Good Men – “I want the truth!” “You can’t handle the truth!” – was late one February afternoon at the 2012 Leveson inquiry into press standards. In the role of Tom Cruise – the cocky, over-paid, over-sexed and over-educated lawyer – was “barrister to the stars” David Sherborne. Taking the part of Jack Nicholson’s grizzled colonel, was the explosively irate Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre.

Sherborne, then 43, boyish, tanned and sporting a metropolitan bouffant of hair, clearly represented everything Dacre despised. The lawyer called on the editor to talk about two Mail stories involving the private life of his client, Hugh Grant – and to insinuate the question most guaranteed to put Dacre close to a coronary: the idea, always vehemently denied, that his journalists had been involved in phone hacking. As Sherborne pressed his point, with as much stubborn insubordination as he could muster, Dacre became increasingly apoplectic, fists clenched, teeth grinding, apparently doing everything he could to contain one of the expletive-laden rants his colleagues liked to call “the vagina monologues”: “I’m not going to speculate!” the editor hissed. “I’m not going to been drawn by your innuendo, Mr Sherborne! I’ve made clear my position and I’m not going to deviate from that!”

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