Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TOO CLOSE TOANOTHER MAN'S WIFE; Court Confession of Tycoon in $1M Indecent Proposal Case

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TOO CLOSE TOANOTHER MAN'S WIFE; Court Confession of Tycoon in $1M Indecent Proposal Case

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK MCGOWAN

THE WEALTHY Jewish businessman at the centre of the $1million "Indecent Proposal" case today admitted inappropriate behaviour with a married woman.

Brian Maccaba agreed he had become far too close to the woman he is accused of offering to "buy" from her husband for a million dollars.

But he said he "never, ever, never" made the alleged proposal.

His admission came as he took the stand in the High Court slander case he brought after he was accused by a leading rabbi of Continued on Page 7 making the offer to the husband of Nathalie Attar. He was also said to have slept with three married Jewish women but denies all the allegations.

Mr Maccaba, 45, admitted that he and Mrs Attar had been sending each other poems in Hebrew and were constantly on the phone to each other discussing problems in their respective marriages.

"Poetry is particularly dangerous because it leads to closeness," said the father of six. "Obviously it was quite inappropriate that we were getting so On one occasion, after a Jewish wedding in Marseille, she came to his bedroom at 4.30am when she was nearly nine months pregnant and talked for an hour.

Mr Maccaba, who is suing Rabbi Yaakob Lichtenstein, told the court: "Nothing scandalous or sexual or anything like that happened but we had a very personal chat. We became far too close."

close when we were both married to other people."

From the witness box he read out his 20-line poem entitled Knocking On Heaven's Door which Rabbi Lichtenstein's lawyers claim contains the million pound offer.

A somewhat embarrassed Mr Maccaba read: "If only she was free, To set her free - a golden key. A bachelor's freedom again.

One million dollars cash, in the bank." He said the poem had been dashed off in five minutes as he brought their intense relationship to an end.

Asked by his barrister, Clive Freedman, if he had made an indecent proposal, he said: "Never, ever, never. The only illusion, suggestion or reference anywhere is this silly poem.

"The poem was just a poem. I didn't intend to make any offer.

It was just somebody writing a silly poem with a metaphor. …

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