Sir Martin Sorrell is accused by two WPP workers of visiting brothel

Advertising mogul Sir Martin Sorrell is accused by two WPP employees of visiting Mayfair brothel as he ‘strenuously’ denies using company cash to pay for a prostitute

  • Sir Martin Sorrell accused of using WPP cash to pay for prostitute in Mayfair
  • Mogul quit as boss in April after 33 years after investigation into conduct began  
  • Two WPP workers  allege they saw him entering a Mayfair brothel on June 7 2017
  • Friend said: ‘He understands allegation was made by a disgruntled employee’ 
  • Sir Martin has denied claims he paid for a prostitute with WPP company cash

Sir Martin Sorrell has been accused by two WPP employees of visiting a Mayfair brothel – after he ‘strenuously’ denied claims he used company cash to pay for a prostitute.

The colleagues were having a drink on June 7 2017 when they claim they saw the advertising mogul entering 50a Shepherd Market – a den of iniquity in one of London’s remaining red light districts.

The friends, who haven’t been named, are also said to have taken a photo of the building and this would later be used during the WPP misconduct probe, the Financial Times reported today.

Sir Martin left WPP, the company he founded more than 30 years ago, in April following allegations of personal misconduct. WPP carried out an inquiry into allegations that he misused company funds, but the details of the investigation were never disclosed.

Over the weekend, it was then alleged in the Wall Street Journal that the probe looked into whether he used company cash to pay between £250 and £350 for a sex worker.  

The colleagues who claim they saw Sir Martin on Shepherd Market stayed quiet until the millionaire’s long-serving chauffeur was sacked suddenly in October – and then one went to bosses with the alleged brothel sighting.

The advertising guru has denied claims he paid for a prostitute with company cash while at the helm of WPP. MailOnline has approached Sir Martin’s spokesman for comment on the latest brothel claims but he is yet to respond.

Two WPP staff drinking in Mayfair claimed they saw Sir Martin Sorrell entering the white door of 50a Shepherd Market (pictured), which is a brothel next to a bookies

The brothel in Mayfair, central London had the sign ‘beautiful young lady, please knock’ (left) on the door (right) today

Sir Martin denies paying between £250 and £350 near the company’s Mayfair HQ and putting it on expenses last June

A spokesman for WPP said: ‘We are not able to comment on individual cases or specific allegations, but everyone at WPP should feel able to raise concerns and to have them listened to and acted upon as appropriate.

‘The board takes this matter very seriously, and has tasked the new management team with reviewing how our policies are implemented in practice and where and how we need to make improvements going forward.

‘WPP has had an independently operated “Right to Speak” helpline for more than 15 years, which is available to all employees and suppliers who wish to raise issues on a confidential basis. We are redoubling our efforts to ensure that everyone is aware of this facility and encourage anyone with concerns to make use of it.’

Sir Martin, 73, who at his peak earned more than £70 million in one year, denies the allegations with friends claiming he is the victim of a smear campaign by disgruntled staff.

He quit as WPP boss two months ago after the company began an investigation into his conduct.

The Financial Times claimed today that two WPP workers were drinking in a street bar in Shepherd Market when they said they saw him enter a flat next to a bookmakers, which turned out to be brothel.

They are claimed to have taken a photo of its scruffy white door that would later form part of the WPP misconduct investigation.   

The sacking of his long-serving chauffeur last October is said to have prompted them to speak out.

He is said to have ferried the ‘ad king’ around London in a Range Rover for 15 years. 


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But he was allegedly fired after he picked up Sir Martin’s wife Cristiana in Mayfair at 2am but wouldn’t come back to their Belgravia home at 7am the same morning fearing it would be unsafe for him to drive. 

Six months later Sir Martin would resign – an astonishing downfall for the man who founded WPP in 1985 and bestrode the ad industry like a colossus.

The FT also claimed to have spoken to staff who worked for him and claimed it was ‘like being in an abusive relationship’.

His six executive assistants in the US and the UK said they were paid at least £80,000 a year but called it  ‘combat pay’. 

One claimed: ‘He was brutal and inhuman in how he dealt with his assistants,” said one former executive. He would say “you’re f****** idiots, what’s f****** wrong with you?’

Others said he regularly swore at junior staff, calling a worker approaching retirement a ‘pudding’ and others ‘bozos’.  

Sorrell denies both sleeping with a prostitute and misusing company funds. Pictured: Sorrell with his wife Lady Cristiana Sorrell

Sir Martin strongly denies the claims and is said to be ‘pretty cheesed off about it’ – and this ire has clearly fired him up because he has already started a new business to rival WPP.

But A friend told The Times today: ‘He denies the allegation that he saw a prostitute. He understands that the allegation was made by a disgruntled employee. If you run a business with 200,000 employees for 30 years, some will fall out with you’.

The whistleblower is thought to be a disgruntled chauffeur who lost his job. 

The mogul’s spokesman also said: ‘Sir Martin signed a non-disclosure agreement when he stepped down which precludes him from discussing any of the circumstances surrounding his departure. 

‘He has rigidly adhered to this obligation and will continue to do so. As regards the allegations which have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Sir Martin strenuously denies them. He will be making no further comment at this time’.

In 2005 he paid a then record divorce settlement of £29 million to his wife of 33 years, Lady Sandra (pictured). He went on to marry economist Cristiana Falcone in 2008

Sources close to Sir Martin say he understood the need for an investigation despite his clear denial about the prostitute claims

But he was said to be upset by the ‘aggressive’ grilling from the firm’s US lawyers, Wilmer Hale, during a meeting in New York.   

Rumours have swirled about what impropriety Sorrell was being accused of since news of the probe broke in early April. 

After weeks of speculation, the authoritative Wall Street Journal reported that a probe into his conduct had investigated the claim. It is unclear what the inquiry had found, the paper said.  

He strenuously denies the allegations, which have been circulating in the City for several weeks. 

WPP had said it was investigating its former chief executive over an allegation of ‘personal misconduct’ but will not comment further.

Sorrell denies both sleeping with a prostitute and misusing company funds.  

WPP declined to say what its investigation had involved when Sorrell stepped down on April 14, walking away with £20million in share options.

He is understood to have decided to quit WPP despite denying the accusation against him because of a breakdown in relations with the board.

Sorrell is thought to be worth £500 million. In 2005 he paid a then record divorce settlement of £29 million to his wife of 33 years, Sandra. He went on to marry economist Cristiana Falcone in 2008. 

A source close to Sir Martin told the Mail on Sunday: ‘He is pretty cheesed off about it, but there is not much he can say. But it has turned out to be a very murky, unpleasant business.

‘He has no complaint about there being an investigation if there needed to be one, but he felt it was badly conducted.

‘He doesn’t want to sit down at the same table with those people on the board again. He feels that at the age of 73, with a second wife and a 15-month-old baby, he didn’t want to put up with it. He thought, ‘sod it, I’m out of here.’ ‘

The advertising guru has already bought a company best known for making wire baskets and plans to spend £40million of his own cash to take on his former ad agency in one of the most dramatic comeback in British business history.

Famously WPP was a company best known for making wire and plastic products [WPP] before he took it over.

Sir Martin, 73, will be chairman of the listed firm Derriston Capital, as part of a plan under which Derriston will buy S4 Capital and turn it into an international media business – in the quickest return to the London Stock Exchange in history.

Sir Martin’s return has caused waves in the city.

Advertising expert Marc Mendoza, founder of 360 degree media said: ‘WPP should be checking their client contracts and they should be all over their top 5 clients because although he hasn’t get anything to technically offer them yet his contacts book is unrivalled. 

‘He will have the direct lines and emails of all of every one of the top spending advertisers in the UK and abroad and no doubt would have told them about his new plans over the last 24 hours because he would have been up all night doing it’.

When asked how unusual the millionaire’s return to work was he said:  ‘Unusual is not the right word, it’s unprecedented. 

‘Most people who left the business after 30-plus years in the business in a high pressure position would look at the summer ahead and think “I’ll have a bit of that” and take six months off’.

He added: ‘I don’t think that Sir Martin has had six weeks off and he has probably spent five weeks of that plotting this comeback so really he hasn’t had six days off’. 


Sir Martin Sorrell helped form WPP in 1985 after taking control of a shell company, Wire & Plastic Products, and established it as a marketing services group in 1986.

He was chief executive of the company for more than three decades. 

He oversaw the huge growth of company, building WPP into a firm that dominates the advertising industry with around 134,000 staff in 3,000 offices in 112 countries. 

He was one of the UK’s highest earners, taking home £70million in the tax year 2015-16.    

This WPP warned that 2017 was ‘not a pretty year’ for the firm due to flat growth, despite profits of more than £2bn. 

Sorrell stepped down on April 14, walking away with £20 million in share options. 


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