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The Daily Mail reported earlier today that Sting and his wife Trudie Styler have lost their appeal against being ordered to pay nearly £25,000 in damages to a chef who was sacked after she became pregnant. Now the rock star and his wife are likely to face court costs of up to £10,000 on top of the cash they must hand over to Jane Martin.
Judge Peter Clarke, chairman of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London, said he agreed with the original employment tribunal judgment - which accused Miss Styler of using "shameful conduct" and subterfuge to get rid of Miss Martin.
In May last year, the 42-year-old chef won her claim for unfair dismissal at a tribunal in Southampton, where she claimed that she had been "cast out" by the actress.
Staff at the couple's country estate lived in a climate of fear because Miss Styler subjected them to abuse to make her "feel royal", it was said. Miss Martin, from Winchester, Hampshire, fell out of favour when she became pregnant in 2005 and then had to take time off with a stomach bug.
The panel heard how at the time of Miss Martin's sick leave, Miss Styler is said to have lost her temper, screaming: "Who the f*** does she think she is? She's my chef in the UK. She needs to be available if I need her, or she should rethink her position."
In April 2006, the couple's management company, Lake House Estate, announced a redundancy process in which Miss Martin and another chef were each given points on a "scoring" system based on criteria including attendance, ability and length of service. Miss Martin lost.
But the tribunal described the points system as a "sham", saying it had been designed to ensure that Miss Martin came second. The ruling angered Miss Styler, who described the decision as "a travesty" and appealed.
However, Judge Clarke rejected any bias in the panel's findings.
Last night, Miss Styler said she was disappointed with the ruling and maintained that Miss Martin was always treated "fairly and considerately" while in her job as chef.
Source: Daily Mail