Quite how Debrett’s will handle this one remains to be seen.
For the granddaughter of the 9th Duke of Rutland, the celebrity perfumier Phoebe Manners, used the sperm of a big-game hunter whom she had been dating to become pregnant after the end of their relationship, it has been revealed in court.
In court yesterday, Miss Manners, 46, whose perfume clients included Daryl Hannah and Emilia Fox, was cleared of harassing Stuart Anderson Wheeler after she sent him a series of text messages urging him to be more involved in their son’s life, but she voluntarily agreed to a restraining order not to contact him again.
Mr Anderson Wheeler runs a London gunsmith which provided weapons as props for the James Bond film Skyfall, and leads big game hunting safaris to Africa. The Telegraph reports that he is fluent in Swahili and a keen zoologist.
In a bizarre twist to proceedings, Miss Manners sought to have her £30 cab fare from her Kensington flat to court refunded. The claim was rejected.
According to a report in The Times (paywalled) today, Hammersmith magistrates’ court was told that the son of Miss Manners and Mr Anderson Wheeler was born more than a year after the end of a four-month relationship in 2010.
During their relationship the couple agreed to have a child via IVF, but she later used Mr Anderson Wheeler’s sperm without his permission to become pregnant again.
Mr Anderson Wheeler travelled from Tanzania where he works as a big game hunter to give evidence yesterday.
He told the court that he had no involvement with their son’s life apart from paying child maintenance. He contacted police after receiving six text messages from Miss Manners during the five months to April.
The Daily Mail reports that Mr Anderson Wheeler, 34, said: “I found it very harassing and unnerving.”
Miss Manners, who charges £800 for creating a bespoke fragrance, told police: “These messages were not threatening or insulting. They were intended to inform [Mr Anderson Wheeler] about my feelings as a parent and provide information about the boy."
Apologising for any distress, she added: " As a single parent it is very difficult to watch one’s son growing older without his father playing any role in his upbringing."
Mr Richardson argued that the case should never have gone to court because the evidence was ‘three pairs of text messages over a period of six months’, which could not amount to harassment.
The judge agreed, saying: "What I have is random texts saying “Please be more of a father to this child”. That cannot amount to harassment. There is no case to answer."
Miss Manners was acquitted of the charge and the judge told the prosecution to pay costs.
He declined to award £30 to Miss Manners for her taxi journey but awarded her £10 travel expenses.