It has always depressed me that, of all the great music produced in Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the most well known artist in the Philippines is Sting. I’ve detested him from the outset and the day he and the other bleach blonde poseurs from Police arrived I figured that was the end of punk.
I knew the smug Sting was a bourgeois at heart, so it was heartening to see the vanities and excesses of his household exposed so mercilessly in a court case this week. There’s nothing like an aggrieved domestic servant to open up the nasty side of the family circle, eh?
The rock star Sting and his wife Trudie Styler were ordered to pay their former chef £24,944 yesterday after her “shameful” dismissal when she became pregnant.
Jane Martin, 41, had worked for the 55-year-old singer and his wife for eight years, cooking for stars including Sir Elton John, Bob Geldof and Madonna. The Cordon Bleu chef won a claim of sexual discrimination against the couple after she was unfairly dismissed from her £28,000-a-year job.
… Revealing the lavish lifestyle of the pair, said to be worth £188 million, she told an employment tribunal in Southampton that “opulent extravagance reigned” at their mansion in Wiltshire. She claimed that there was “no regard to expense, cost or wastage” where food and entertaining were concerned at the 300-acre Lake House estate.
On one occasion Mrs Martin restricted caviar at a party to £3,000 worth, but was told by Ms Styler to serve the whole £6,000 stock, much of which was then wasted.
She said that, when she announced that she was pregnant in 2005, Ms Styler set about being unpleasant to force her out. She wept as she told the hearing that Ms Styler knew that she had already suffered one miscarriage, but was still required to remain standing for long periods, which sometimes left her doubled up in pain.
She claimed that Ms Styler had said: “Who the f*** does she think she is? She’s my chef in the UK. She needs to be available if I need her, or she should rethink her position.”
In an outspoken judgment, the panel castigated Ms Styler for her “shameful conduct” and also for trying to distance herself from the unlawful dismissal by getting “minions” in the family business to “perform her dirty work” during the hearing.