Schillings Update: On Alisher Usmanov, Peter Serafinowizc And Online PR
“Our client’s grandfather died before he was able to demonstrate that there was no truth in the allegations,” says the bloggers’ friend at law firm Schillings.
This is not an episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? show, in which celebs discover this ancestry, viewers looking on as comic Peter Serafinowicz realises that he and Natasha Kaplinsky’s family have met before in less starry circumstances.
The Mail notes that the elder and now dead Szymon Serafinowizc appeared at the Old Bailey in 1997 accused of “enthusiastically” helping eradicate the 3,000-strong Jewish population around the capital of Minsk. He was a police chief in his native Belarus when it was occupied by the Nazis. The case was dropped because he was unfit to stand trial.
And now his grandson, Peter Serafinowizc is being approached by the Mail on Sunday. The paper produces a quote from Peter on his TV roles: “I prefer the evil ones because I’m quite evil in real life, so it’s not much effort.”
But the story is not all about the Mail’s sensationalism, nor is it about Peter Serafinowicz, if at all. The Mail asks the question and the comedian contacts Schillings.
“Schillings insisted that the allegations against Serafinowicz’s grandfather were a private matter under the Human Rights Act. It demanded that the paper gave an undertaking never to publish the comedian’s connection to the war crimes case,” notes the paper.
The Mail on Sunday refused. Schillings said it would “advise Serafinowicz to go to a High Court judge to secure an emergency injunction banning publication of the story”.
It appears that he did not take the advice, correctly assessing that minimal fuss would lead to minimal impact.
And Schillings? Having advised Alisher Usmanov to come down hard on Craig Murray (see here), Schillings shows how much it has learned about the modern media by, as reported, inviting a wholly innocent man to make a song and a dance about his dead grandfather.
That would put an end to the story, wouldn’t it?