This week’s Slow Newscast is ‘Octopus: the allegations against Crispin Odey’.
Odey is one of the City’s most feted fund managers. He is perhaps best known for funding the Leave campaign and then making hundreds of millions by shorting the pound and British companies on the Brexit vote in 2016; likewise, he was in the public eye in September when he won big after he bet against the pound and British government debt ahead of September’s mini-budget announced by Kwasi Kwarteng, his former employee who lunched at his house earlier in the summer.
Last year, Odey appeared in a criminal court to answer an allegation of sexual assault. According to the evidence of the woman who accused him of assaulting her nearly 25 years earlier in 1998, he lunged at her and was all over her like an octopus. She felt his hands scrambling over her; on her breast, down her shirt, on her back, up her skirt. Crispin Odey was acquitted. The court found inconsistencies in her evidence and rejected her account. The judge said he left the courthouse with “his good character intact”.
In the course of his reporting, Paul Caruana Galizia hears from a further four women who, while they don’t know each other, give their own accounts of a similar pattern of assault. All of the alleged incidents happened since 1998; one happened months after the court case last year. Separately, Paul also hears allegations of sexual harassment. We twice asked Crispin Odey to give his side of the story, but he replied only to say there were “falsehoods” and “inaccuracies” in the allegations. He declined to be interviewed or engage with the accounts of his behaviour.
Paul’s investigation is into more than the allegations against one man. It’s an examination too of the system – the institutions, culture and behaviours that inhibit people from speaking out and contribute to such low levels of successful prosecution for sexual assault. You can listen to Octopus in the Tortoise app or on all podcast platforms today.
The fourth episode of our podcast series The Tavistock: Inside the Gender Clinic is out today. Reported by Polly Curtis, it aims to shine a light on one of the most contentious issues today – and one we know so little about: whether to prescribe puberty blockers to children with gender dysphoria. Do listen to the series so far here.
We’re ending the year with a flurry of live events:
- Today at 1:30pm we’re asking how we can build a fairer world in an era of permacrisis.
- Tomorrow evening from 6pm we’re holding a special festive edition of Tortoise Lates in our newsroom.
- On Wednesday from 9:30am-1:30pm it’s the Responsible Quantum Summit – come along if you want to know how our lives will change in a world with quantum computing at its core.
Have a very good week.
Editor & Co-founder