Agent denies Irving claims

By Rachel Fletcher, May 2, 2008

The literary agent handling the memoirs of Holocaust survivor Sam Pivnik has rejected claims made about him by Shoah-denier David Irving.

Following a JC report about Mr Pivnik’s memoirs, which are to be published to refute deniers, Irving used his website to attack agent Andrew Lownie.

He also reproduced the JC report and claimed that the Sunday Times failed to pay him a £75,000 fee for excerpts from the Goebbels diaries which he brought back from Moscow in 1992.

Irving wrote: “Wringing his hands, Andrew Lownie minced around his office, and decided there was nothing he could, or would, do about this breach of contract.

“He left it to me to take [the] newspaper to the High Court. Which I did. (But Lownie still pocketed his 15 per cent.)”

But Mr Lownie said that the Sunday Times had “quite rightly pulled out of the deal, not because of outside pressure, but simply because the provenance and copyright of the material was unclear”.

Mr Lownie said he had acted briefly for Irving 16 years ago. “I kept my personal views about Irving’s politics and personality to myself but tried to act as professionally as possible at all times,” he said.

“When he decided to challenge the Sunday Times, I found him a lawyer and then attended a meeting with the lawyer but it was clear that Irving had no case. Contrary to his claims, none of us was paid.”

He added: “I’ve been called various things in my career, but as a six-foot former Cambridge rower, married with children, I don’t think I ‘mince’.”

Last week, Irving lost a claim for £2,000 in damages against a B&B landlady in Kew. A judge at Wandsworth County Court ordered him to pay £60 in costs to Jennie Allen after he attempted to sue her for breach of contract, claiming she had wrongly asked him to leave the premises. Court documents say that Mrs Allen found Irving to be moody and rude and unsettled her other guests.

Last updated: 3:47pm, May 13 2008