A bankrupt novelist facing eviction from her London home over nearly £1m in unpaid rent has been hit by further lurid allegations after it emerged was involved in a similar dispute over a beautiful property on the Côte d'Azur.
Former City broker Samantha Phillips, 55, whose explosive semi-autobiographical tale of sex and skulduggery, Blonde Ambition, rocked the City of London, has been ordered to leave her £35m Fulham townhouse, by tomorrow along with her husband Mehmet Sozbilir, 59.
The legal wrangle hit the headlines after it emerged that the pair offered a 'Titian' painting supposedly worth £20m, as security, only for an expert commissioned by their landlord to conclude it was 'very unlikely' to be a Titian — and was worth only £30,000.
But now MailOnline has learned that the couple left France two years ago following a legal fight which left them facing a debt of £350,000 over unpaid rent, damages and legal fees, owed to widower Simon Sladen, 77.
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Samantha Phillips (left and right in 1994) has been declared bankrupt and faces eviction from her £35m Fulham home. She is also accused of staying at a property in France without paying
Ms Phillips, a former Lloyds stockbroker whose explosive 1996 bestseller 'Blonde Ambition' rocked City of London is seen with her Turkish businessman partner Mehmet Sozbilir (left)
Despite winning a scathing French court order in his favour in 2019, Mr Sladen's attempts to claim back the cash have been in vain because investigations by debt recovery specialists reported that neither Ms Phillips nor Mr Sozbilir have any substantial assets in France or the UK.
Retired designer Mr Sladen, from Gloucestershire, said the couple 'clearly know every legal ruse, and have had to be evicted twice'
'It's all been pretty unpleasant with a huge amount of stress,' said Mr Sladen, who had three daughters, one of whom, Olivia, is the Duchess of Grafton, married to Henry FitzRoy, the 12th Duke.
Phillips, 55, wrote Blonde Ambition in 1996
The Sozbilirs, with Ms Phillips' daughter Siana, 25, from a previous relationship, first moved into the idyllic hillside property in 2012.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'I knew Ms Phillips locally,' recalled Mr Sladen, 'and around 2012, after two weeks after my wife Jill died of leukaemia, she approached me in the village of La Garde-Freinet, near St Tropez, where I own a property.
The house, called Mas de la Chapelle, has four en-suite bedrooms, a swimming pool and is set in three acres of garden overlooking the sleepy hills of Provence.
'She said she'd met the love of her life,' said Simon, 'and they wanted to rent the house with the option to buy at the end of the year. They paid a year's rent up front of €65,000 (£56,000) and at the end of that year they agreed to buy it for €1.75m (£1.5m) and we exchanged contracts.
However at the end of 2014 that they said they did want to complete the purchase.
'So there was a big meeting