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 Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2002

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London, September 24, 2002

source: Media Guardian


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Richard Desmond was described described as a "kosher businessman" in ShowBiz News.
   We don't know what that means. We invite readers to submit more items for our dossier on the unattractive Mr Desmond. [submit]

Richard Desmond embroiled in £8m tax wrangle

"Richard Desmond the owner of Express Newspapers, is in dispute with the Inland Revenue over a £8m tax bill. His argument with the taxman began after a 1993 business deal when United Newspapers agreed to buy 10 of his magazines, resulting in a £12m windfall for the pornography publisher

... The Money Programme revelations could not come at a worse time for Mr Desmond, who is desperately trying to shake off his 'porn baron' tag. Only 10 days ago he went on the BBC's Ten O'Clock News to protest against the use of the word 'pornographer'.

Demonstrating for the first time he is embarrassed by the P-word, Mr Desmond said of his critics: 'They use the word pornography... they use all sorts of nasty words.'

Mr Desmond, who, according to his arch-rival David Sullivan, owns 50 top shelf titles and three porn TV channels, carried on: 'We don't publish pornography, we publish adult magazines.'

He has been trying to sell his porn empire for the last two years but there have been no takers. The Money Programme confirms reports that Mr Desmond was also spurred into action by a Guardian investigation into one of his pornography websites that offered live lesbian sex as well as other images portraying pregnant women and women as old as 78.

Deric Botham, who ran Mr Desmond's Fantasy Channel for five years, explained how within 24 hours of the article appearing he 'decimated' the site to prevent further media opporobrium."


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