A former CNN journalist has hired lawyers who represent the British royal family to combat salacious reports she had an affair with the former U.K ambassador to the U.S. and slept with him to get stories.
British tabloid The Sun published a story earlier this month under the headline, “UK’s US ambassador Kim Darroch investigated over fears he leaked classified White House secrets to CNN reporter lover.” The piece detailed how the network’s former senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, allegedly had an affair with Darroch, who served as Britain’s man in Washington from 2016 to 2019. She has denied Darroch leaked stories to her.
The Sun and other British publications were quickly served with legal warnings from the royals’ lawyers of choice, white-shoe law firm Harbottle & Lewis, labelling the reports “untrue.”
“The allegation our client provided sexual favors to the UK Ambassador in return for stories is also seriously defamatory and should not be republished,” the letter obtained by The Daily Beast states.
The letter, marked “strictly private & confidential not for publication or dissemination,” goes on to state the article is a “gross invasion of our client’s private life. Seeking to speculate about our client’s personal relationships and publication of the same clearly invades our client’s privacy. This applies irrespective of the truth or otherwise of the allegations.”
Kosinski, who is married and worked at CNN from 2014 to 2019, is alleged by The Sun to have carried on a months-long affair with Darroch, who the paper reported was investigated by the Department of Justice for leaking secrets to her but was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing.
Among the secrets The Sun suggested Darroch could have passed to Kosinski were plans for CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be appointed Secretary of State, and the U.S. plotting tougher sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, in the U.K.
Last year The Daily Beast reported Harbottle & Lewis had sent letters to U.K. media over rumors Prince William was having an affair with his aristocratic neighbor Rose Hanbury, also known as the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, while Kate Middleton was pregnant with their third child.
Darroch, who also is married, was forced to step down from his post in July 2019 after sensitive diplomatic cables highly critical of Donald Trump’s presidency were leaked.
In the cables he described Trump as “insecure” and “incompetent” and warned that the president’s career could end in “disgrace”.
“We don’t really believe [Trump’s] Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction-riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch wrote.
Trump fired back after the leak, calling Darroch a “pompous fool.”
"The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy," he tweeted.
Kosinski did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast but tweeted on Saturday, “There is a great deal wrong—and simply false—about what is being reported in some rightwing tabloids right now. Of course, nothing new.
“A so-called leak investigation found no such leaking. Meaning for all those stories listed—that sensitive information did not come from the former ambassador. Sounds like I had some good sources and did my job.”