Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SAATCHI SHOULD BE SO LUCKY

We were delighted to discover that Charles Saatchi's plans to move his gallery from the old GLC building to Chelsea after a spat with the owners of the building has come to court, because what could be more delicious than the discovery that one of the current landlords at Ken Livingstone's old place is Pete Waterman. Yes, of course, that Pete Waterman. It's not all Kylie and trains for Pete, you know. He's busy overacting:

Record producer Pete Waterman has said that his "great regard" for Charles Saatchi ended when the art collector made "chilling" allegations about the landlords of his London gallery.

Waterman is a director of Cadogan Leisure, apparently. Who knew there was so much cash in Rick Astley records and doing a show on Radio City?

He told the judge, Sir Donald Rattee, that he had grown to love the Saatchi Gallery, which he believed was a "fun" addition to the Riverside Building. But he said Masakazu Okamoto, European managing director of the owners of the building, Shirayama Shokusan, "didn't have the same passion about modern art as the rest of us had".

Nothing screams fun like a giant picture of Myra Hindley made out of children's handprints, we guess. What isn't fun, though, apparently, is Saatchi's allegations. Prepare to be chilled to the very marrow:

Mr Waterman said that in October 2003 he was telephoned by Mr Saatchi who alleged that County Hall was part of "a fraud" involving Mr Okamoto, his wife, members of the Cadogan board and their solicitor. "I was too shocked and then chilled to take all of this in, save that this was probably the worst conversation, and certainly the most chilling, I had ever had in my life," Mr Waterman said.

He said he learned that Mr Saatchi had warned that unless the landlords "get off his back", he would report what he had told him to the fraud squad.

Mr Waterman went on: "I did support Charles Saatchi and the gallery for all of the reasons already stated in this statement. I certainly had great regard for him. My view of him has been completely tarnished by that phone call and is the reason why I have never spoken to him again."


Of course, most people had Saatchi marked down as a bit of knob from the moment he started slobbering all over Thatcher, although a few did wait until that time he wanted his advertising agency to buy the Midland Bank before firming that perspective up.

Obviously the court case will be ongoing.


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