Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mother sues daughter over bestselling 'abuse' memoir

A British lawyer who wrote a popular book recounting a childhood of alleged emotional and physical abuse is being sued for libel by her mother, who says the claims are fantasy.
Constance Briscoe defends the veracity of her book, "Ugly" -- the nickname she says her mother threw at her as a child. Her lawyer told London's High Court on Tuesday that the book contained some errors but was "quite properly put in the biography section of the bookshop, not the fiction section."
With its harrowing, inspirational and ostensibly true story, "Ugly" has sold more than half a million copies in Britain since it was published in 2006. It was followed by a sequel, "Beyond Ugly."
The child of Jamaican immigrants, Briscoe, 51, grew up in a poor part of London but went on to become a lawyer and one of the first black women in Britain to be appointed a recorder, or part-time judge.
In "Ugly," Briscoe alleges that her mother regularly beat and starved her before abandoning her when she was 13.
The book claims Briscoe's stepfather once stubbed a cigarette out on her hand, and says that as a teenager Briscoe needed surgery on her breasts because of trauma caused by her mother's assaults.
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