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Wednesday, January 14, 1998 Published at 20:46 GMT


Bassey wins court case
image: [ Shirley Bassey delighted after court victory ]
Shirley Bassey delighted after court victory

A former personal assistant of Shirley Bassey has lost her case against the singer after five years of legal battles.

Hilary Levy claimed in court that Miss Bassey slapped her, called her a "Jewish bitch" and sacked her after a drunken row.

Miss Levy sued for damages in Brentford County Court, west London, claiming 7,650 for loss of earnings.

Judge Edwards said he found Miss Bassey "straightforward" and was persuaded by her argument that it would be unwise to sack her assistant in the middle of a tour.

He added that he was not persuaded that Miss Bassey had called Miss Levy a bitch and did not believe her to be anti-Semitic.

He said Miss Levy had been "less than frank", particularly in her assertion that she was not thinking of selling her story to the press, and ruled that her claim for loss of earnings was unfounded because no tour dates had been set.

[ image: Hilary Levy
Hilary Levy "devastated" - and may have to pay costs
Miss Levy had no comment after the ruling but her solicitor, Jim McKenzie said his client was devastated. "She committed herself for 15 years to pandering every whim of Shirley Bassey," he said. "She suffered very much".

A battle will now begin over whether she will have to pay Shirley Bassey's legal costs. Mr McKenzie said the bill could be more than 50,000. If she had to pay she would, however, be means-tested.

Bassey's emotional statement after her court victory (2' 24")
Miss Bassey was close to breaking down as she made a statement leaving the court. "I don't hate her," she said. "She was doing what she thought she could get away with, but the truth will out."

As she stepped into her car, she threw flowers to the crowd who clapped and cheered.

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