Author and journalist Paul Gorman has said he is pursuing a legal claim against Picador, Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly, following what he claims is "substantial" inadequately attributed usage of material from his book The Look: Adventures in Pop and Rock Fashion (Sanctuary).
Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly was released by Picador in September, and is described as a “unique personal memoir and authorised biography”. Co-author Kelly has previously written biographies of figures including Casanova.
Gorman told The Bookseller: “I greatly respect Vivienne Westwood’s achievements but she has been sorely let down by her co-author and publisher, in particular regarding the substantial and flagrant usage of my material. I have written similar memoirs with such outspoken individuals as Boy George and Goldie, and recognise that Ms Westwood is entitled to say what she likes during the writing of the book, but it is the author and publisher’s duty to ensure that once it reaches publication she is protected from claims such as mine.”
Kelly’s agent, Ivan Mulcahy, said he had no comment to make on behalf of his author on the allegations.
Paul Baggaley, Picador publisher, told The Bookseller: “We always take very seriously any errors that are brought to our attention and, where appropriate, correct them."”
In a blog post Gorman said he had counted around 40 excerpts which “bear too close a resemblance to text in The Look to let pass”.