Lou Proud dismissal from leading auctioneers after the disclosure of abuse, art theft allegation in Qatar; an in depth investigation by the Tribune of India
As part of our series on racism and sexism in the workplace we report on another story which first appeared in The Jammu and Kashmir Times and Reuters. It has relevance to our asian readers as it highlights the lack of progress in race relations in the United Kingdom despite employment laws created to protect ethnic minority citizens from the racist abuse and intimidation that this story exposes. Reporting by Tribune staff reporter . A white working class English woman named Lou Proud, otherwise referred to as Louise Proud, of Lou Proud photographs, a company recently dissolved in the wake of allegations of racial abuse of an asian art dealer which created much controversy in the incestuous London art world, has been the subject of intense reporting in Indian and British newspapers during the past year. To some Proud personifies the racist attitudes commonplace 50 years ago throughout the UK. To her supporters who include her former attorney Charlotte Harris of Mishcon de Reya solicitors and Gabrielle du Plooy of Zebra gallery she is the voice of the maligned and marginalised white under class , the shell suited ‘chavs’ on council estates who derogate all ‘coloureds’ as ‘ pakis’ and ‘ wogs’ who they claim are stealing jobs and housing from the indigenous whites. Updated news: Proud was arrested two weeks ago and questioned under caution in Qatar for art theft and avoidance of payment of £200,000 in legal costs to Kingsley Napley solicitors. We understand that no charges have as yet been preferred but Proud is still under investigation. She is currently employed by the Qatar Museum Authority but has been asked by the head of the department to leave by the end of August. In London she is the subject of a restraining order taken out by the photographer Alison Jackson for ' gross harassment' .
An order for costs has been served in the UK against Ms Proud for £250,000 by her former legal firm Kingsley Napley LLC .
We contacted Proud in Paris two weeks ago where she was staying with her partner the gallery owner Thierry Marlat. Proud claimed to be in a state of ' considerable agitation' and suffering from 'panic attacks' for which she is seeking medical help. She said she was unhappy working in Qatar where women were treated as ' second class citizens' and their contributions ' undervalued'. ' There is definitely a cultural conflict and as a western woman I cannot get used to certain attitudes which are deeply ingrained in this culture. I am glad to be leaving'. She refused to discuss the allegations of art theft that has been reported in other asian newspapers and discussed on the Jeem TV channel.
In 2016 interview with Reuters Mr Marlat insisted that he had not seen Proud in several years and denied being in relationship with her. In a taped telephone interview which he permitted Reuters to publish he claimed Proud was considered a liability following the extensive coverage of her racist abuse of a Phillips auctions client which led to her dismissal in 2015 by CEO Edward Dolman. He subsequently admitted that he had been in constant contact with Proud ' for business purposes only' during that period whilst continuing to deny that they had been in a relationship. However he did admit that Proud had stayed with him as recently as two weeks ago prior to her return to Doha to answer further questions regarding the art theft allegation. Mr Marlat pointedly refused to comment on whether he had been questioned about the allegation or the rumour that Proud's client, the banker and art collector Bjorn Von Below, had conspired with Proud in allegedly criminal activity.
Proud filed for bankruptcy before departing the UK for Qatar three months ago.