What The Butler Said

Royal Butler Burrell Claims Clifford Sold Him Out

A bad week to be Max Clifford. Just days after Britain's most famous PR man was questioned by police in connection with alleged sex offences, involvement in which he denies, Max Clifford is being sued by Princess Diana's butler Paul Burrell, one of his former clients, for alleged breach of confidentiality - accusations the publicist also denies.

Burrell - described by Diana as her 'rock' - claims that when he engaged Clifford in a bid to limit bad press coverage about him a decade ago, rather than stopping stories Mr Clifford passed information he provided on to The News of the World.

His lawyer Mark Lewis says Paul Burrell claims that Mr Clifford asked him to write down personal details which he feared might be uncovered by the media so that he could deal with them if they appeared, but instead of keeping the details confidential it is alleged Mr Clifford faxed the handwritten documents to the News of the World.He said: "The police say they raided the News of the World's offices and there is a fax header there showing that things were sent from Max Clifford Associates to the News of the World concerning Paul Burrell. Paul's own notes, Paul's own handwriting that he'd given to Max suddenly finds itself at the News of the World."Mr Clifford told Sky News: "The claims made by Mr Burrell have no merit. His allegations are opportunistic and are denied. It is an affront to common sense to suggest that Mr Burrell, who has sold stories to the newspapers, made countless appearances on TV and has even written a book about his dealings with the royal family, now feels able to claim that any information he provided was confidential."We will defend these claims in court and will be asking the judge at the earliest opportunity to strike out these claims as having no prospect of success and an abuse of process."