Sunday, 11 March 2012

'Happy to clarify'

On 28 November 2011, a Mail article claimed:

Many of us dream of wearing the beautiful costumes from period dramas like Downton Abbey... however, few would go quite as far as donning them every day. But romantic fiction-lover, Lyn-Marie Cunliffe, has taken her obsession with Victorian literature to the extreme - by living her modern life dressed as her heroine Charlotte Bronte. The 49-year-old, loves the 19th century author so much, she dresses like her all the time - even on trips to the supermarket.  

On 9 March, the Mail published this clarification online:

Further to a feature published on 28 November 2011 based on an interview with Lyn-Marie Cunliffe – which was provided by an agency – she has asked us to make clear that she does not “live her life dressed as Charlotte Bronte”.

She occasionally dresses as the author as part of her work – she owns over fifty costumes from various periods along with accessories and props as part of her business – but does not harbour a passion or obsession for the Brontes.

She has made clear she did not refer to her husband as her Mr Rochester or say that she thought of Heathcliffe while walking her dog.

We are happy to clarify her position.

There's no apology for an incorrect story and a protracted complaint that has gone on for months. But were they really 'happy to clarify'?

Lyn-Marie explains on her website:

The Daily Mail has finally admitted that its article “Do you come Eyre often” which claimed I always dressed as Charlotte Bronte is untrue...

To summarise the Mail has conceded it has never spoken to me and merely published under Lauren Paxmans name a story bought from a news agency.

While I suppose I ought to be magnanimous in victory this has been a bitter and hard battle and I feel unable to accord the Mail the credit so clearly due to the Guardian and Telegraph who had corrected their genuine mistake promptly and behaved in every respect with decency and rectitude.

The Mails retraction is by contrast is entirely due to the efforts of the Press complaints commission as prior to their intervention the Daily Mail had refused to answer my emails.

The PCC negotiations where extremely prolonged and the Daily Mail behaved in an appalling manner. Its replies to emails have at times been extremely distressing. It has trawled  by its own admission my blog, my flickr profile and my Ebay listings (and its clear by statements made to the PCC it has also been following my facebook page. It has searched for links it could forward to the PCC to try to support its case. It has suggested that by being forced to sell assets(which was due to decreased business and made no mention of the story) I had “profited” from the story and because a tag on a photo in my flickr profile used "crazy costume Lady" (posted after the Mails story surfaced) I couldn’t complain about their story making me look unbalanced.

It also claimed I lied about the nature of my work and would not budge from this statement until forwarded  official accounts  from my business and a statement from a past client this despite its searching of blog and flickr posts which make it clear I do wide ranging costume work. It claimed in one email to the PCC it had talked to me to explain the story and that  I was merely upset by the reaction to it and  had actually said everything they claimed but was trying to pretend otherwise. In short it insulted me in every possible way during the negotiations and showed  a lack of concern for the truth that is breathtaking. [It] has shown not the least regard for either common decency or journalistic standards.


  1. What??!! The Mail forces an individual to prove that the Mail are lying, yet the Mail can do whatever they want. Yet, after a long time and a lot of effort from the victim even when the victim has been vindicated, the Mail can't be bothered to apologise.

    This is absolutely disgusting behaviour.

  2. If the Mail had spent a tiny fraction of the time checking the story that they spent defending it the issue would never have arisen. And they claim to be journalists.

  3. Here is a suggestion for a new term. "Fibloids".

  4. Fuck the Daily Fail...and the berks that read it.


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