Dennis Publishing boss Felix Dennis has managed to give a national press interview without confessing to killing anyone ten months after telling Ginny Dougary of The Times that he pushed a man over a cliff.
In an interview in today’s Guardian he now says it was just the booze talking.
After five hours of drinking last November, Dougary recorded him saying:
“I’ve killed a man…He wouldn’t let her alone. She told him to stop. I told him to stop. Many people told him to stop. Wouldn’t stop. Kept on and on and on. Made her life a living misery: beat her up, beat up her kids, wouldn’t let her alone, kept on, kept on – weren’t even his kids, so in the end, I had a little meeting with him, pushed him over the edge of a cliff. Weren’t ‘ard.”
For the Guardian piece, to publicise his current poetry reading tour “Did I Mention the Free Wine” time he was on more guarded form with William Leith of the Guardian, sipping “a tiny bit of Chablis” topped up with water during the interview.
Explaining why she argued with Times’ lawyers to keep the murder confession quote in the piece even though he later retracted it, Dougary later told Press Gazette:
“I have to say that I never wavered from my belief that we should publish the full interview – regardless of the drink and the medication that Dennis remembered he had been on as we approached publication. I did have to cut out his boast of 1,000 lovers – eat your heart out Clegg – and that a madame called Didiwadidi pronounced him the best lover in England. At 60 Dennis is most definitely an adult, and as a publisher himself, I would be surprised if he expected his journalists to behave any differently.”
Dougary’s Dennis interview was eventually published in April, six months after she conducted it.