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Tuesday, June 22, 1999 Published at 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK


Stars back the Rogue Trader

Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel with executive producer Sir David Frost

It was a night for truth and reconciliation at the world premiere of the movie Rogue Trader - the story of how Nick Leeson broke Barings Bank.

Stars Ewan McGregor (Nick Leeson) and Anna Friel (Lisa Leeson) flew in specially for the London screening.

Both were to keen to point out that the movie showed a better side to the infamous financial trader than presented by the press.

[ image: Things hot up as Leeson's losses soar]
Things hot up as Leeson's losses soar
Notoriety came winging Nick Leeson's way in 1995 when he single-handedly lost £850m of his employer's, Barings Bank, money on the Far Eastern financial markets.

Barings, a 200-year-old institution in the City of London, was lost without redemption. Leeson went to jail in Singapore.

But arriving from Hamburg for Rogue Trader's premiere, 32-year-old McGregor expressed his support for his character.

"There's things that he did that were wrong but if you went into the back rooms of a bank there would be that type of thing going on. He got nicked," he said.

[ image: Nick and Lisa: Portrayed as very close]
Nick and Lisa: Portrayed as very close
While Anna Friel, currently wooing audiences in the hit play Closer in New York, added her own dose of sympathy. "I think what it does is give another side to the story, not just what you've heard," she said.

In Rogue Trader, Nick and Lisa Leeson are depicted as having a very close and loving relationship.

However, their marriage collapsed and Lisa remarried after Leeson was sent to prison for six-and-a-half years.

But things didn't look quite so sour for warring couple Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall at the premiere party.

Despite being locked in what is rumoured to be a bitter divorce battle, they chatted and smiled and exchanged a peck on the cheek.

[ image: Tara Palmer-Tomkinson: Among the celebrity guests]
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson: Among the celebrity guests
They were among a host of glamorous guests at the bash at London's Commonwealth Club. Others invited included Kylie Minogue, Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Boy George, Lord Lloyd Webber and model Yasmin Le Bon.

However, rumours that Nick Leeson, whose release from jail is imminent, would be at the premiere proved unfounded. Ex-wife Lisa also stayed away.

Rogue Trader's executive producer, Sir David Frost, realised he had a potential movie script and optioned the rights to Leeson's story after interviewing him in prison.

However Sir David said on Monday that the banker would get less than 5% of the film's profits, if indeed it made any money at all.

Rogue Trader goes on general UK release from 25 June.

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