Michelle Mone 'to be grilled by police' over racist text message claim

Tory peer Michelle Mone ‘will be grilled by police’ over claim that she sent racist text message to financial consultant after fatal yacht accident on French Riviera

  • Richard Lynton-Jones alleged Mone racially abused him in Whatsapp messages
  • He claimed she said to him that he was a ‘waste of white man’s skin’ in 2019
  • Reportedly also referred to man’s partner as a ‘nut case bird’ and ‘mental loony’
  • Complainant said exchange came after 2019 boat crash that killed crew worker

Tory peer Michelle Mone is set to be questioned by police over a claim that she sent a racist text message to a financial consultant of Indian heritage after a fatal yacht accident on the French Riviera. 

Richard Lynton-Jones alleged Lady Mone racially abused him and called his partner a ‘nut case bird’ and ‘mental loony’ three weeks after a day of ‘drinking and partying’ on two superyachts which ended in an accident and the death of a deckhand.

He claimed she said to him in a Whatsapp message that he was a ‘waste of white man’s skin’. 

After the claim first emerged in December, Lady Mone’s lawyers said she believed vehemently he was ‘100% white and British’ and there was ‘no trace whatsoever of non-white colouring or any features’. 

The Metropolitan Police are now investigating a formal complaint against Lady Mone. 

According to The Sun, she has been asked to attend a police station for an interview under caution. 

Tory peer Michelle Mone is set to be questioned by police over a claim that she sent a racist text message to a financial consultant of Indian heritage after a fatal yacht accident on the French Riviera

Richard Lynton-Jones (pictured) alleged Mone racially abused him and called his partner a ‘nut case bird’ and ‘mental loony’ three weeks after a day of ‘drinking and partying’ on two superyachts which ended in an accident and the death of a deckhand 

The news comes just days after it emerged that Mr Lynton-Jones had started legal proceedings against Lady Mone, claiming to be a victim of defamation, libel and slander.

How ‘Baroness Bra’ made her money

Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone was born in 1971 and grew up in Glasgow’s East End, leaving school with no qualifications aged 15 before finding work as a model.

After running a sales and marketing team for the Labatt’s brewing firm, she decided to create a range of support bras after the idea came to her while wearing an uncomfortable bra during a dinner party.

Lady Mone founded MJM International with her then-husband Michael Mone in November 1996, and three years of research, design, and development resulted in the patented Ultimo bra.

In August 1999, a month after having her third child, she launched Ultimo at the Selfridges department store in London, which sold the pre-launch estimate of six weeks of stock within 24 hours.

The business grew rapidly and in 2010 she earned an OBE from the Queen for her contribution to business.

But she sold 80 per cent of Ultimo in 2014, one year after announcing she had left the company following a breakdown in her marriage.

Lady Mone was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ after being elevated to the House of Lords in 2015, where her official title is Baroness Mone of Mayfair.

To celebrate her 50th birthday last month, she decided to host five parties – one for each decade of her life – with her new husband billionaire tech tycoon Doug Barrowman, 55.

The pair married last November in a glitzy but low-key wedding ceremony at their home on the Isle of Man.

Lady Mone has also had a lucrative public speaking career but called time on this last month, saying she wanted to ‘focus on her family and new ventures’.  

A Met Police spokesman said: ‘In June 2021 police received an allegation of a racially aggravated malicious communication in relation to information posted on a messaging app. 

‘Police spoke to the complainant and advised that for the investigation to progress a statement would need to be taken; for this to be admissible in any future court proceedings, this would need to be done in person. 

‘In October, the complainant gave a statement to police and the investigation continues.  

‘A 50-year-old woman has been invited to attend for an interview under caution at a future date.’ 

A previous statement from a representative of Lady Mone said: ‘Baroness Mone is 100 per cent not a racist. 

Baroness Mone and her husband have built over 15 schools in Africa in the past three years.’

Her lawyers later said Mone has ‘no access’ to the messages and no ‘detailed memory of them’.

They added: ‘She is not prepared to comment on the messages unless and until their authenticity has been confirmed.

‘But Baroness Mone, in any event, very strongly denies that she is a racist, a sexist or that she has a lack of respect for those persons genuinely suffering with mental health difficulties.’ 

Mr Lynton-Jones, from Ferndown in Dorset, 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 Lady Mone and Mr Barrowman’s new virtual currency venture which saw them launch a coin called Equi which they claimed would be the British Bitcoin. 

Mr Lynton-Jones was appointed head of capital raising and investor relations.

On social media last month, Baroness Mone confronted Mr Lynton-Jones’s claims, writing on Instagram: ‘Since when did calling out a man on his actions… his entitled white privilege constitute racism? 

‘Quite the opposite – the accusations I have read today against me are full of contradictions.’ 

The bust-up happened after Mr Lynton-Jones was among guests on a superyacht who met up with Lady Mone and her businessman husband Douglas Barrowman who were with friends and relatives on his 88ft yacht called Minx.

The two groups, totalling 18 people, motored out in their respective boats to enjoy a lunch at a restaurant on an island called Île Sainte-Marguerite, near Cannes, leaving their respective crews on board.

They later rafted their boats together so they could continue the fun day out on the water, hopping on and off each other’s boats, before deciding to return to shore in the early evening when it was still daylight after more than five hours of partying.

Crewman Jake Feldwhere (pictured), 27, was on the foredeck of an 88ft-long Minx preparing to lift the anchor when he was struck and killed off the coast of Île Sainte-Marguerite in 2019

Minx (crash damage, left) is owned by Michelle Mone and her husband Douglas Barrowman

The French skipper of the second superyacht called Vision which was chartered by British internet gaming millionaire Richard Skelhorn, accidentally ploughed into Mr Barrowman’s boat as he was turning round to head for home. An MAIB investigation found the skipper had cannabis in his bloodstream.

Jake Feldwhere was on the foredeck of the Minx preparing to lift the anchor when he was struck and killed in the collision on the evening of May 25, 2019, which was the last day of the Cannes film festival. 

The bust-up between Mr Lynton-Jones and Lady Mone reportedly happened in a group WhatsApp chat on June 13, 2019, after she allegedly questioned how much his partner had suffered psychologically after the accident.

Lawyers for the House of Lords member, pictured with her husband Douglas Barrowman, said she has no ‘detailed memory’ or ‘access’ to the messages and denied that she is a racist

Mr Lynton Jones who is believed to have a mother of Indian heritage and a white father, and works in Monaco as a financial consultant, replied that his partner had been seriously traumatised by the yacht incident, saying: ‘I would prefer you back the f**k off’.

According to screenshots seen by The Guardian, Lady Mone is said to have replied: ‘OMG what a pile of c**p!! You are talking to me, a smart, bright individual who doesn’t get taken in by your s**t!

‘In fact my b******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.’

Mr Lynton-Jones is said to have made an official complaint in August this year to Martin Jelley, the House of Lords commissioner for standards about the alleged messages, claiming they were ‘derogatory and racist’ towards him and ‘abusive and derogatory’ towards his partner’s mental health.

But the commissioner declined to investigate because the alleged messages were not sent in the course of Lady Mone’s parliamentary duties.

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