James Caan sued by contestant

Ex-Dragon accused of defamation by entrepreneur

Having surprised the British public already this year with his shock resignation from hit TV show, Dragons’ Den, James Caan is now reportedly being sued for defamation by one of the show’s most successful contestants.

Only three weeks in and 2011 has already been a more than interesting year for the business tycoon, who was known as ‘the nice one’ on a judges’ panel.

Entrepreneur Sharon Wright won an £80,000 investment for her company Talpa Products in 2009 after her fruitful pitch to the Dragons. Her invention, the ‘MagnaMole’ – a plastic rod which threads cables safely through cavity walls – attracted the attention of Duncan Bannatyne and Caan, who offered her the investment in return for a 22.5% stake in her company.

However, Wright has claimed that the deal she was promised never materialised. She also claims she was asked to reduce her salary from £50,000 to just £12,000. Wright says it was at this time that her health began to suffer: “I felt absolutely mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.” Her lawyer Dean Dunham arranged for the contract to be terminated, and not long afterwards Wright was taken to hospital having suffered a nervous breakdown.

She is now pursuing High Court legal action against Caan, demanding unspecified damages for defamation, although it remains unclear as to what he is alleged to have said.

It seems 2011 is likely to be another turbulent year for the Hamilton Bradshaw boss. Last October, Caan came under fire for reportedly offering to buy a baby girl from her family in Pakistan, during filming of his charitable work in the flood-hit country. Whatever the outcome of this latest predicament, things may just get a whole lot worse.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2011

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