WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE: A war of words has erupted between Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corré and Richard Hillgrove, his former p.r. man and activist organizer.
Most recently, the two worked together on a publicity stunt in July aimed at drawing attention to the plight of Julian Assange, who was charged in the U.S. in 2019 for publishing classified documents linked to U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As reported, Westwood, dressed in a sharp-shouldered canary yellow trouser suit and black combat boots, voiced her support for Assange from inside a giant birdcage suspended 10 feet off the ground in front of London’s Old Bailey criminal court.
It was Westwood’s first public appearance after quarantining for 16 weeks during the U.K.’s COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year. Megaphone in hand, she decried “the illegal U.S. extradition of Julian Assange for telling the truth about American war crimes.”
Since then Corré, an activist and clothing entrepreneur who has inherited his mother’s flair for drama, has fallen out with his longtime ally Hillgrove, with whom he had worked since 2014, staging a number of protests.
The two have not worked together since September, after Hillgrove quit his job. Hillgrove said he gave Corré a month’s notice that he was leaving, which he said Corré rejected.
Since then, Corré has been sending Hillgrove e-mails so venomous they could turn a man to stone.
In one of them, seen by WWD, Corré tells Hillgrove to never get in touch with him, Vivienne Westwood, or Ben Westwood (Joe’s half-brother) again.
“Your behavior has been disgusting, I have supported you so much in the past to the point where I would have taken a bullet for you. You haven’t even had the decency to explain or discuss your decision to cut your relationship with me after everything we have been through,” wrote Corré in one of the e-mails.
Corré then went on to insult Hillgrove’s wife Lois Perry, a broadcaster, in words that cannot be reprinted here.
Hillgrove also accused Corré of using “women hate speech” and “religious hate speech” against Perry.
Hillgrove confirmed that he has not gone to the police or taken legal action, although that might be a possibility in the future.
Asked to comment Corré said: “Richard is an idiot, and his desire to let everyone know that he is one by sending out press releases on this non-story just proves that he is one. We worked very successfully together as a team, but when he is left to his own devices he is a car crash. Goodbye Richard!”