Sacked love rival sues bra queen
00:47 GMT, 10 May 2012
Fetching: Michelle Mone and Carol Vorderman on Ladies day at the Cheltenham Festival
When private detectives told lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone that her husband had spent the night with a pretty woman who was one of her top employees, the entrepreneur’s spirits understandably sagged.
She sacked the woman but now Michelle is even more crestfallen. For the employee, designer Samantha Bunn, 31, has launched a case for unfair dismissal.
‘I can’t believe it. It’s true I fired her, but after what she did, what do you expect’ says Michelle, 40.
‘Now she has had the gall to say she shouldn’t have lost her job.’
Up until recently the businesswoman had been hoping for a reconciliation with her errant husband, Michael, with whom she launched her Ultimo bra company from a spare bedroom in 1996 and which they built into a 45 million fashion empire.
However Michelle, who still lives under the same roof as her husband in two houses which they knocked together in Lanarkshire, tells me: ‘I’ve made up my mind and I am going for a divorce and the houses are up for sale.’
She learned of the tryst after Michael announced on Christmas Day that the 19-year marriage was over.
Suspecting an affair, she hired a private investigator and he produced photographs of her husband with Samantha.
Michelle was so angry she attacked her husband’s Porsche Panamera, repeatedly scraping a key along the paintwork.
Winner: Carol Vorderman and Ultimo girl Michelle Mone cheer on the winner in the third race.
At one stage, mother-of-three Michelle had such a close relationship with her protg Samantha that she was virtually part of the family, sharing the Mones’ luxury Mayfair apartment and living in a house Michelle owns next door to the marital home in Scotland.
‘In a situation like this, our employment laws are ludicrous,’ she explains at the launch of a beauty department for John Lewis in Oxford Street.
And Michelle understandably feels frustrated at the prospect of giving a pay-off to the employee who had an affair with her husband.
‘I am coping by throwing myself into work,’ says blonde Michelle, who used to go jogging with Samantha.
‘I don’t think I will ever marry again. I could never trust another man after this,’ she adds.