Sutcliffe denies affair

2010-11-05 00:00

HE hasn’t had an affair, and he didn’t even know that divorce papers were being served. So says Ethekwini city manager Dr Michael Sutcliffe in a strongly worded letter via his attorneys to various media houses yesterday.

The letter carries a flat denial that he has had an affair following media reports about his pending divorce, and threatens legal action to any media house that writes that he has.

Roger Knowles of Pravda & Knowles Attorneys disclosed yesterday that Sutcliffe had not received his divorce summons when the first reports of his divorce appeared in the media.

“Many of you knew of this before our client did,” said Knowles.

“You are, no doubt aware, that our client’s wife has instituted proceedings against him for a divorce and associated relief. Our client is extremely disturbed about reports that have already appeared or been aired. Prominence has been given to unsubstantiated allegations and rumours have been propagated. His reputation has been called into question and his dignity offended. He has already suffered damages, for which recourse will be sought.”

Knowles said his client “denies the allegations of impropriety and in particular rejects any suggestion that he has been involved in an adulterous relationship with anybody. He has instructed us to launch such proceedings as may be deemed apposite, against any publication, person or programme which intrudes, or has intruded, upon his rights.

“We write to ask you to refrain from publishing anything which may further the damage or reinforce the speculation and rumours already in circulation.”

Knowles added that Sutcliffe will not be commenting on the matter. “He chooses not to do so.”

He said Sutcliffe has instructed his firm to make contact with representatives of the media, both radio and print media.

The woman who is said to be linked with Sutcliffe also sent The Witness a denial of impropriety via the same firm of attorneys, saying Sutcliffe’s divorce is “a personal matter between himself and his wife”.

She was responding to questions put to her by The Witness.

The attorney’s letter states, “Our client takes exception to your allegation that she is having an affair with Dr Sutcliffe; she denies any such allegations. She furthermore reserves her rights to take legal action against any person/s who make, or publish, such allegations.”

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