Sex toy magnate launches £450,000 High Court battle with her step-siblings ... trends now

Sex toy magnate launches £450,000 High Court battle with her step-siblings ... trends now
Sex toy magnate launches £450,000 High Court battle with her step-siblings ... trends now

Sex toy magnate launches £450,000 High Court battle with her step-siblings ... trends now

A top sex toy magnate has launched an inheritance fight with her step-siblings over a multimillion pound mansion next to a world-famous golf course.

Barbara Cook, CEO of one of the US' biggest sex toy manufacturers Diamond Products, claims that she and her sister Jennifer Gough were wrongly cut out of their £450,000 inheritance after their stepfather changed his will after their mother died. 

Ms Cook, 65 - a former executive vice president of Playboy Group and a managing director at T-Mobile - is now locked in a bitter battle against Philip Henry and Phillippa Callan where court costs are expected to be north of £300,000.

The house  was bought by the sisters' mother Rita Nelly Henry and their stepfather Gordon Henry after they married in 1993 - with Rita paying an 'unequal' share of the price tag.

The plush pad sits on an exclusive street of large detached properties on the doorstep of £93,000-membership fee celebrity hangout, Sunningdale Golf Club - beloved by celebrities including the Sean Connery and Harry Styles.

The inheritance row began after Rita died in 2016, with Mrs Gough's solicitor, Richard Strachan Higham, saying that following his wife's death Gordon made changes to his own will which have led to the sisters being wrongfully deprived of around £450,000 of their inheritance.

But as Ms Gough refuses to let the house be sold and split up, meaning it has been left to fall into ruin over the last three years. 

Barbara Cook, CEO of one of the US' biggest sex toy manufacturers Diamond Products (pictured), claims that she and her sister Jennifer Gough were wrongly cut out of their £450,000 inheritance

Barbara Cook, CEO of one of the US' biggest sex toy manufacturers Diamond Products (pictured), claims that she and her sister Jennifer Gough were wrongly cut out of their £450,000 inheritance

The lawyer claims that, because 'of the unequal contributions of Rita and Gordon to the purchase of the property,' the pair agreed to make 'mutual wills' in 2009, splitting the house after their deaths, with 75 per cent of its value going to Rita's daughters and 25 per cent to Gordon's children. 

Mutual wills are when two people - usually a couple - make a will together, the terms of which ban whoever survives longer from changing their will following the death of the other.

Mr Strachan Hughes says that, in contravention of the agreement made with Rita, Gordon made a new will in January 2017 three months after her death, the terms of which allowed him take money out of the house in the form of equity release. 

The house was subsequently remortgaged and, between March 2018 and February 2020 when Gordon died, around £450,000 in loans were taken out, secured against the value of the house. 

The lawyer is asking the court for a declaration that the equity release was 'unlawful' and that the £450,000 should be deducted from Gordon's children's share of the inheritance. 

He says : 'The said purported mortgages were unlawful and/or in breach of the contract and/or trusts of the mutual wills and are unenforceable against the interests of the claimant and her siblings in the property,' the lawyer says.

'Alternatively, the said mortgages should be chargeable only against the beneficial interest in the property of Gordon's children under the mutual wills.

'The said mortgages and cash withdrawals were a deliberate and unlawful attempt to reduce the equity in the property to the detriment of the claimant and her siblings.'

The plush pad sits on an exclusive street of large detached properties on the doorstep of £93,000-membership fee celebrity hangout, Sunningdale Golf Club (pictured) - beloved by celebrities including the Sean Connery and Harry Styles

The plush pad sits on an exclusive street of large detached properties on the doorstep of £93,000-membership fee celebrity hangout, Sunningdale Golf Club (pictured) - beloved by celebrities including the

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