Former broker Samantha Phillips declared bankrupt and faces eviction

Former Lloyds broker Samantha Phillips, 55, whose explosive 1996 bestseller ‘Blonde Ambition’ rocked City of London is declared bankrupt and faces eviction from her £35m Chelsea home

  • Phillips says she rented property for a year at £14,000 a week ‘with no problem’
  • But last March the owner wanted her to buy the property outright, she alleges
  • She then agreed to an ‘insane, crazy contract’ of two years’ rent for £1.85 million
  • But her inability to pay has led to bankruptcy and now an impending eviction
  • Phillips has to leave by May 4, despite offering a painting as security for debts 
  • She claims art is worth £20m but landlord-commission expert valued it at £30k 

A former Lloyds broker whose explosive novel rocked the City of London with a colourful story of vice and fraud in the Square Mile, has been declared bankrupt and faces eviction from her £35m home.

Samantha Phillips, 55, who wrote Blonde Ambition in 1996, is at the centre of an extraordinary legal wrangle involving a £20m Titian painting and her Turkish boyfriend.

Derbyshire-born Phillips and her businessman lover Mehmet Sozbilir, are named in an eviction order, along with their daughter Siana, 25 as the owner seeks to turf them out of the luxury Chelsea townhouse.

Phillips claimed she is the victim of ‘a personal vendetta’, explaining that she and Sozbilir rented the house for a year — at £14,000-a-week — ‘with no problem’.

After lockdown last March she alleges, the owner wanted them to buy the property for £35 million.


Samantha Phillips (left and right in 1994) has been declared bankrupt and faces eviction from her £35m home in Chelsea

‘We then subsequently found out some things which made it impossible for us to live there. I can’t go into detail,’ adds Phillips.

She said that she later agreed to an ‘absolutely insane, crazy contract’ of two years’ rent for £1.85m, with a first instalment of £1 million payable last year and the rest this March. Failure to pay led to bankruptcy and impending eviction.

She, Sozbilir and Siana have to leave by May 4, despite offering a painting, said to be a £20 million Titian, as security for their debts.

But an expert commissioned by their landlord concluded that it was ‘very unlikely’ to be a Titian — and was worth only £30,000.

Samantha Phillips, who wrote Blonde Ambition in 1996, is at the centre of an extraordinary legal wrangle involving a £20m Titian painting and her Turkish boyfriend

Phillips alleges that the expert had ‘never actually adjudicated a Titian before’.

Phillips, who famously won a case against her old City firm for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination, says she is preparing a script for a Netflix adaptation of Blonde Ambition.

Phillips, 55, wrote Blonde Ambition in 1996

‘I’ve done half of it,’ she says. ‘Hopefully I’ll just find somewhere quiet to go and get it finished.’

Phillips was an aviation broker at Lloyds who successfully sued for wrongful dismissal, then launched a newsletter called Inside Eye, which she sold to finance her new career as a novelist.

She also had an affair with the colourful late boss of Lloyds, Peter Middleton, a former monk, spy and diplomat, who like Phillips, has studied at the Sorbonne.

She portrayed a loosely fictionalised account of Middleton in Blonde Ambition, writing: ‘His grip was light and strong, and ‘his voice low down the scale, a soft voice with a hard edge, iron under velvet.’

In the year the book appeared Middleton, divorced his first wife, Yvonne, and married Anita, a prison hospital nurse 25 years his junior. He died in 2014.

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