Marco Pierre White branded 'idiot' by judge

Marco Pierre White

A High Court judge branded Marco Pierre White a 'bit of an idiot', as he threw out his claim for a 38% share in a Newbury pub, plus damages.

White will have to pay the costs, which are estimated to be around £500,000.

The case

The Mirror reported that White had brought a claim against his former business partners, saying he was owed £175,000 in shares of the Yew Tree Pub in Highclere near Newbury. He also sought damages.

According to The Daily Mail, the issue was whether the rights to shares in the pub depended on White's name being used. He was involved in running it in 2005, but about five years later his name was removed from the establishment. His former partners said the rights depended on them being granted the right to use his name without charge, and no such licence was ever granted. White disagreed.

The Telegraph reported that the judge dismissed his claim. Saying: "Mr White was not straightforward and was not honest in his evidence and I would question his intelligence in bringing the claim at all."

He added: "Mr White has been a bit of an idiot and it may be he has been a dishonest idiot on top. He is a wealthy man and brought wholly misconceived proceedings."

He ordered White to pay all the costs of the case. The BBC said that these were estimated to be around £500,000.

The empire

It's an embarrassment for White, but he's unlikely to feel the pain too badly, as his empire continues to boom.

His official biography states that he arrived in London at the age of 16 with £7.36, a box of books and a bag of clothes.

After training at Le Gavroche he took his first head chef position at the age of 24. By the age of 33 he had become the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. During this time, chefs coming through his kitchens included Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, and Jason Atherton.

He announced his retirement from cooking in 1999, handed back his stars, and became a restaurateur. He currently has 13 restaurants, including Wheelers of St James, Steakhouses around the country, and a number of gastro pubs.

More recently he became the host of Masterchef: The Professionals in Australia and Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars in the UK. And he is the face of a number of products, including Knorr stock cubes.
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