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Henderson, while saying much of what has been alleged is not true, admitted that enough of it was well founded to cause ‘deep concern’One man, however, was notably absent: Lord Bell, better known as Tim Bell, who made his name as Mrs Thatcher’s favourite PR man and who founded Bell Pottinger.
He is not, however, on the guest list for Kerzner and Henderson’s wedding, a family affair to be held in London.Relations between the two men were showing signs of strain long before the row over South Africa.Having become the biggest shareholder in Bell Pottinger and taken on the mantle of chief executive, Henderson is said to have become exasperated because he felt Bell was not bringing in enough business to justify his pay and expenses.Henderson, 52, and Heather found themselves at the centre of the storm after the firm was accused of helping orchestrate a ‘fake news’ campaign on behalf of the Guptas, one of the South Africa's most powerful business dynasties He has also acted for the Duchess of York and helped Madonna in her custody battle for her son Rocco.The Bell Pottinger debacle has reverberated far beyond London, creating full-on political upheaval in South Africa, a country still traumatised by its apartheid years and deeply sensitive to racial issues.Although Henderson had no personal involvement, he has fallen on his sword in a bid to salvage the business.
Henderson confirmed his resignation when contacted by The Mail on Sunday.
Om a balmy June evening, Heather Kerzner, flanked by her handsome fiance James Henderson, looked every inch the accomplished hostess.
Divorced for several years from her billionaire ex-husband, South African magnate Sol Kerzner, she and Henderson, one of London’s most consummate PR men, were looking forward to their own wedding this November.
And it is a debacle that has pitted Lord Bell, the wily elder statesman of the PR world, against Henderson, his one-time protege turned nemesis.
While Bell, 75, is famed for his willingness to act for even the most notorious dictators and pariahs, including the late General Pinochet of Chile, Henderson has had a more conventional career concentrating on City spin-doctoring.
The motive is said have been to deflect attention away from the Guptas’ activities and their closeness to Zuma.