Lou Proud, of Lou Proud photographs LPP, recently attended the AIPAD vernissage in New York and spent several days visiting galleries to solicit work . Unfortunately she was denied entry the following night to the Phillips NY party due to her being summarily dismissed in 2015 by her former employer Phillips UK after the disclosure of racist remarks attributed to her and her involvement in a notorious civil and criminal action in 2014 which she ultimately lost. According to an investigative reporter with Reuters it appears that several galleries in Europe and the US now refuse to work with her because of her vaunted racism and anti semitic beliefs. Such is her embarrassment at these revelations that under legal advice she has permanently closed Lou Proud photographs.com, her Twitter and Linked in accounts .
It has now been confirmed by Mr Paul de Bono who kindly spoke with us that Proud was reprimanded twice by the board of managing directors at Phillips UK after the disclosure of emails containing racist insults directed at an asian gentleman which were allegedly sent from her work server. She was eventually fired from her post as head of photographs after several warnings to refrain from making racist remarks went unheeded. It appears that her current employer, a foreign gentleman had bought photographs under Proud’s direction during her tenure at Phillips and accompanied her to New York was unaware of the full extent of her racist activities and is said to be ‘ horrified’ and ‘ sickened’ . His offer of a job to Louise Proud at his Parisian gallery has now been revoked.
Underlying the ostensible motive for the legal action was an ugly strain of racism and class resentment directed towards a man of asian origin. Her lawyer, the egregious Charlotte Harris, agreed that racism in any form , implied or stated, intended as humorous or otherwise, is unacceptable in contemporary society. The Tory politician J Enoch Powell defined racialism [ the term in currency in the 60’s ] as “the belief that one race is inherently superior to another”. Unfortunately there are some parts of the UK whose inhabitants refuse to acknowledge, let alone accept, the presence of a multi racial society and believe that Indians, Pakistanis and blacks are inferior to the indigenous white population. It is alleged that Lou Proud shares their beliefs and considers the use of terms such as “aloo gobi” , “Peshwari naan” , “Tarka Dahl”, “Paki” , “black bastard” , inter alia, to describe a man of asian origin as amusing and used them liberally to hurt, damage and demean her intended target. It is alleged from emails and other documents disclosed by court order at the behest of Anthony Jayes LLP solicitors that Lou Proud has links with a neo fascist organisation that promotes the forcible repatriation of non whites. Some of these documents will from the the basis of two documentaries that are being assembled in the US.
Given her views on race the epithet ‘ white trash’ allegedly used to describe Proud seems appropriate. Several european galleries refuse to work with her because of her racist beliefs. Proud’s public denunciation of a French dealer’s probity – a man of unimpeachable integrity -may lead to yet further legal action against her.
It has recently been confirmed by Kingsley Napley solicitors that Lou Proud was questioned by the police after making anti semitic remarks about a renowned London photo dealer of Jewish origin whose gallery is situated off the Kings Road. Her defence that she was drunk at the time and suffering mental problems failed to impress.
Emails recently disclosed , containing the racist insults ‘Paki’ , “Paki snob’ and others yet more offensive prompted the following letter [ quoted verbatim] from the lawyer Anthony Jayes LLP of Jayes solicitors to Lou Proud’s lawyer, the disgraced Charlotte Harris, formerly of Mishcon de Reya against whom three complaints of legal malfeasance and racist bullying were made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority by Anthony Jayes LLP :
‘There has been a history of racial comments made by Ms Proud against our client expressed orally and in disclosed emails sent from her work address. Express comments have included those set out in Ms Proud’s email of February 4th 2015 sent from her personal email but ostensibly as head of photographs. Your client should not think that she has carte blanche to make racist comments to my client and in respect of previous reported events and those that appear in the documents my client’s rights are reserved. I am conscious that the verbal comments are denied by your client but those in the emails, ‘ jigaboo’ , ‘Paki snob’ , ‘black bastard’ , ‘your parents are wogs and should go back to Pakistan’ are irrefutable which would suggest that the recent racist comments complained of were an extension of the written words of abuse and in fact true. I note you tried to exculpate Ms Proud’s abusive remarks by citing her working class background and the reference to her ‘ back to back’ dysfunctional relationships leading to the mental problems that produced such insults but the fact remains she is a racist by any accepted definition of the term. It appears she was dismissed from her position at Phillips auctions after these emails were produced by court order from her work server.
I should add, Charlotte, that your behaviour throughout has been less than professional and the three reports about you to the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority will lead to their own consequences. Your bullying and intimidation of a witness of Somalian extraction and constant references to your Jewishness in addition to remarks about my client’s ethnic origin and skin colour might reasonably lead to the the suspicion that you are racist . Two reports have been sent to the CRE in this regard.
Further emails disclosed from Ms Proud to a former employee at Bloomsbury auctions contain anti semitic remarks about a photographer ‘Gered Mankowitz’ , derisive comments about his style of dress and his alleged sexual harassment of female employees at two galleries your client was acquainted with. Another email from her work address disparages a ‘ Giles Huxley- Parlour’ as a ‘ public school prat’ with no knowledge of photography ‘ and a ‘gay dick’. I understand these emails were disclosed to the managing directors at Phillips auctions and Mr de Bono. In this light your assertion that it was my client’s quite reasonable complaints to Phillips’s solicitors Constantine Cannon that led to Ms Proud’s dismissal is disingenuous in the extreme when taking into consideration a sampling of the aforementioned emails she was forced to disclose by court order.’
A journalist with Geet Gujurat who spoke with two heads of department at Phillips UK [ on the condition of anonymity ] commented that Lou Proud is a racist of the variety seen in the notorious Big Brother TV show wherein two working class white girls mocked and abused an Indian actress Shilpa Shetty earning the condemnation of the world’s media and and the UK and Indian governments respectively. Lou Proud is white and working class, cast from the same mould and believes that Indians ‘ smell’, that Indian food is “greasy and smelly”, that only savages eat with their hands and that being white and blonde she would be the victim of unwanted attention and even assault should she visit the sub continent. According to disclosed emails she sees herself as “superior” to the “coloured” races, imperial attitudes that are the legacy of Empire , an inheritance of ancestral memory still present in the UK and South Africa.
Court documents disclosed to us by Anthony Jayes LLP solicitors allege that seven years ago Proud was arrested for racially abusing a woman who was working in a hotel rest room. She was partly exonerated by citing longstanding mental problems and was ordered to to perform three months community service and attend sessions with a psychiatrist. We have spoken to several of her former partners including an Irish photographer who attested to her mental problems, class resentment and an ingrained prejudice to the presence of colored immigrants in the UK. Two heads of department at Phillips UK confirmed as such but were unwilling to give further information for fear of legal reprisals. We spoke with employees at Augusta Edwards Fine Art and Osbourne Samuel who were co operative but understandably guarded in their responses. Three letters of complaint , one from a Mr Olad and one from a Ms Khatun , sent to Mss Proud and Phillips’s senior management [ Mr de Bono] objecting to her bigotry have been disclosed to us by Anthony Jayes LLP. We quote verbatim : ‘ you apparently think it’s funny to ridicule someone about their ethnicity. seeing these comments made me feel physically sick’.
Attacks on minorities have increased significantly in the wake of Brexit’s success fuelled by attitudes such as Lou Proud’s. It is these attitudes that have made her a pariah in the art world. No sanctuary should be afforded racists in modern Britain. It appears from disclosed legal documents that her attitudes are shared by at least one former colleague , a Ms Alex Godwin-Brown, described as ‘ a dim witted , middle class white racist’ who made monkey noises and disparaging remarks about “kaffirs” in her native South Africa. She was reprimanded by her former boss Paul de Bono and resigned soon thereafter. Phillips auctions stands indicted as an incubator for racists .
[ with special thanks to Mr Partiyal and Reuters, Geet Gujurat, the Alan Klotz gallery , Anthony Jayes LLP, Kingsley Napley and Schillings solicitors , Ms Bingham, Pierre Spake, Augusta Edwards and Osbourne Samuel galleries and former personnel at Phillips UK and Bloomsbury auctions who spoke with us on condition of anonymity ]