Why are British lawyers always getting caught with their pants down? We all remember the classic scene in A Fish Called Wanda, in which an unsuspecting family walks in on a naked barrister, Archie Leach (John Cleese), as he’s getting ready for a roll in the hay with Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Check out this Daily Mail headline: “The top lawyer, his lover and a drug-fuelled sadomasochistic sex session that led to bloodshed at the Hilton.”
Wow. That’s almost as delicious a headline as this one.
And the headline, even though it’s a mouthful, doesn’t quite say it all. There’s more, much more — including leather thongs, nipple clamps, and a pile of blow….
There’s a lot to digest here. According to the Daily Mail, former Lovells partner Neil Fagan — “one of the most highly regarded lawyers in the City,” and the married father of three children — was involved in quite the incident in May of last year. Here’s what allegedly happened:
Staff alerted to the sound of screaming at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel found the 61-year-old former partner in leading law firm Hogan Lovells wearing only a tiny leather thong, nipple clamps, other sexual paraphernalia, and with hot wax dripping down his chest.
If a British male had to be caught in a leather thong, why did it have to be a 60+, balding, overweight law firm partner? Why couldn’t it have been, say, Jude Law? Or maybe Ben Whishaw — did anyone else catch him in The Pride?
(The hot wax is less troubling. Fagan’s a lawyer; maybe he was using it to seal a contract? Some British companies still use them, even if they’re no longer legally required.)
[Fagan's] lover, Finola McKenna, who was also naked, glassed the lawyer in the face when he tried to force her to use a ‘medieval torture instrument’ during a kinky sex session, Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday.
A medieval torture device? Now that doesn’t sound very fun. McKenna’s objection is understandable, especially since Fagan wasn’t paying for her services — this wasn’t a case of Ho Love.
The hotel manager, upon encountering this crazy scene — a naked woman, a thong-sporting senior partner, S&M paraphernalia, “a medieval torture instrument” — wisely decided to call the police. He also, perhaps less wisely, decided to lock the couple in the room while waiting for the police to arrive.
Look, I never graduated from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. But why didn’t the manager try to break up the fight? Was it really wise of the manager to lock two brawling lovers in a room together, along with broken glass and the aforementioned medieval torture device?
[W]hen officers arrived, they found the couple still naked and covered in blood, after apparently rolling around on the floor. When police tried to apprehend the naked woman, who was still holding a broken champagne glass, she bit the ankle of the female officer attempting to restrain her.
Apparently no one told the female officer the “safe word.”
Biting a police officer is what brought the whole lurid episode into the courts. Finola McKenna — a mother of two, by the way — was charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm: one for the attack on Fagan, and one for the attack on the officer.
Earlier this week, McKenna pleaded guilty to both counts. For the assault of Neil Fagan, whom McKenna had apparently been meeting for sex “for a number of years,” Judge Michael Gledhill QC gave her a “conditional discharge.”
(And Fagan experienced an unconditional discharge. Hopefully they were using protection.)
As for the assault on the female police officer, McKenna was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and a six-month curfew order. Judge Gledhill urged McKenna to clean up her act: “I hope this may just persuade you to stop going out to champagne parties and spending the night with men such as this.”
“Men such as this”? Indeed. Next time you sleep with a married law firm partner, Fiona, stick to the Magic Circle!
And what about the leather-thong-wearing Neil Fagan? Did he face any charges as a result of this unfortunate episode?
As it turns out, Fagan got off — hehe — with a slap on the wrist (which he might have enjoyed). After police found cocaine and marijuana strewn about the £500 a night suite, they gave him a “police caution” for the possession of class A drugs.
And, thankfully for the Lovells partnership, Fagan was no longer active at the firm at the time of this incident. He retired from the firm in April 2009, after a 40-year-long career; the altercation took place in May.
Idle hands are the devil’s playthings?