Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, July 3, 1999 Published at 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK


Leeson: The price of fame

Leeson stayed in Tanah Merah jail one more day to avoid the press

For someone rumoured to have sold his story to a newspaper for a six-figure sum, rogue trader Nick Leeson seems uncharacteristically fearful of the media.

He was so nervous of facing the press on the day of his release from a Singapore jail, he was prepared to stay in his small cell for one more day to avoid the frenzy of journalists and photographers.

[ image: McGregor and Friel in Rogue Trader the movie]
McGregor and Friel in Rogue Trader the movie
They had waited days outside the prison to catch a glimpse of the man set free after more than four years for bringing about the collapse of Barings - the UK's oldest bank.

His lawyer, Stephen Pollard, visited him on Friday night and said he was "extremely nervous about what was going to confront him the next morning with regards to press attention".

Mr Pollard also refused to confirm stories that Leeson, who lost Barings £850m, has sold his story to The Daily Mail for £100,000.

"Mr Leeson has never intended, in anything he's done or I've done for him, to try and create a situation where he can come out and lord it as a wealthy man," he Radio 4's Today programme.

The film Rogue Trader came went on general release last month in the UK with heart-throb Ewan McGregor as the "hero" and Anna Friel as Leeson's ex-wife Lisa.

The film's executive producer, Sir David Frost - who had interviewed Leeson in prison - came to his defence, saying the original rogue trader would only get 5% of any profits made.


Although Leeson's assets have been frozen, liquidators investigating Barings' collapse have made it clear that the case is not closed.

[ image: The famous grin first appeared in 1995]
The famous grin first appeared in 1995
They plan to keep investigating whether Leeson has any money hidden away from his Barings days, fearing he has another trick up his sleeve.

Their suspicion was sparked by British press reports that he had boasted to former inmates that he had £3m stashed away for his homecoming.

[ image: ..and re-appeared on Sunday]
..and re-appeared on Sunday
Leeson has inspired a mix of emotions in the reading and viewing public.

There is a sneaking admiration for an employee who brought down an insitution, sympathy for a prisoner abroad struck down with cancer and now, a free but divorced man, left to rebuild his life.

But there is also contempt for his crime.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

03 Jul 99 | Business
Leeson goes free

03 Jul 99 | Business
Leeson goes free

01 Jul 99 | The Economy
The double life of Leeson

01 Jul 99 | Asia-Pacific
Leeson faces quiz over cash

22 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Stars back the Rogue Trader

21 Jun 99 | UK
Disgraced trader Leeson 'sells story'

Internet Links

ING Barings

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online