Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Is Brazen Barclay Really Broke? Sir Frederick Barclay Claims Poverty Whilst Sporting The ‘Simon Cowell-Look’

Matthew Steeples asks: “Is brazen Simon Cowell wannabe Sir Frederick Barclay really broke or is he pulling the other one in an attempt not to pay his ex-wife Hiroko?”

Sir Frederick Hugh Barclay (born along with his late twin brother Sir David Rowat Barclay on 27th October 1934) in Hammersmith, London turned up at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday sporting a pair of radiant red pants that were higher up his waist than anything even Simon Cowell would dare.


Aside from being mocked on Twitter for his unmitigated “fashion disaster” as he headed for yet another telling off from judge Sir Jonathan Cohen over his not having paid a £100 million ($121 million, €119 million or درهم446 million) settlement to his ex-wife Lady Hiroko, the 87-year-old got told that was in contempt of court and now faces potentially being jailed at a further hearing on the 11th August.


Known as “notoriously private” and until 2019 very close to his twin, Sir Frederick claims he is broke whilst his ex-wife, Lady Barclay, previously told the court:


“Frederick says he cannot pay. He says he has no money. I do not believe him. It is not that he cannot pay, but that he will not pay… He’s not allowed to have a bank account because he’s not paying tax in the UK.”


Going further the Japanese born 79-year-old claimed via her lawyers that her ex-husband was trying “to string things out” by hiding “behind a web of complex structures” as part of an attempt “to get out of paying the settlement before either she or Frederick dies.”


Complicating matters further, Lady Hiroko – whom the judge highlighted has come out of “a very long marriage” with “next to nothing” thus far – accuses her very own daughter, Amanda, of “conspiring [to] stop her receiving any money” and threatening her “with a move to social housing.” Of her child, Lady Hiroko went as far to ludicrously remark: “She was telling me you have to go and live in a council flat… You don’t have any money, so please stop this divorce procedure.”


Analysing the clearly very acromonious situation that is rather akin to the battle between the late dead-by-impaling-on-railings tycoon Scott Young and his off-her-not-so-merry rocker ex-wife, Sir Jonathan concluded:


“The wife’s suspicions are understandable. The husband totally excluded his wife from any knowledge, let alone discussion of, financial affairs and kept her in the dark… [This is a] put-up sham designed by the husband to ensure she is kept out of her money.”


“It is consistent with his approach to minimise tax and keep control himself. For only a short period of time in their very long marriage did the wife have a hold on property assets of any sort, other than her own bank account containing modest savings.”


Former co-owner of The Ritz hotel and the Telegraph Media Group Sir Frederick responded that he is “highly motivated to comply with the orders because of his abject fear of prison.” Though concluded: “I’ve never had as much stress as this divorce since I was a boy,” it is clear that Mr Justice Cohen is quite right – here’s a case of the ultimate audacity in asset hiding.


Pictured top – Clearly modelling himself on Simon Cowell (right), Sir Frederick Barclay (left) turned up at court yesterday in a velvet jacket and red pants that nearly hit his ‘man boobs’ to face his ex-wife Hiroko (centre). Where did the supposedly broke tycoon think he was going? A camped-up fancy dress party with Sir Noël Coward?


On Twitter this morning, I suggested to my followers: “Amazing that supposedly penniless Sir Fred Barclay managed to avoid jail yesterday. Even more amazing was that he tries to outdo Simon Cowell in the trousers-upto-his-man-boobs department. He may be sporting the look in the clink in 2 weeks, however. #FredBarclay #SimonCowell.” Another user, David Mathieson, responded: “I’m not usually super critical about older men’s sense of style… But having the tie stuffed down the trousers is a definite no-no…”
Knighthood 2000
Billionaires Sir David and Sir Frederick in happier times when they received their knighthoods together at Buckingham Palace in October 2000 “for their support of medical research.”
Lady Beatrice
Amongst assets contested – and since sold – was a co-owned yacht named Lady Beatrice where the twin brothers were said to have punched one another after the breakdown of their business relationship.
The Ritz
The Ritz was sold for around £700 million ($852 million, €833 million or درهم3.1 billion) to Qatari investors in March 2020 in spite of Sir Frederick demanding it be sold for no less than £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion, €1.5 billion or درهم5.8 billion). The controversy and the bugging that occurred on the premises was a major factor in the breakdown in the relationship of the twin brothers.
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. I’ve heard about Lady Barclay and from what I know, Sir Frederick is well shot of her. She’s a greedy woman and it is no wonder even her daughter has disowned her. Shame on Hiroko.

    • Penny. It appears you obviously do not know Lady Hiroko Barclay who is exactly the opposite to your words. It seems to me that Frederick should be the focus of your venting,! His alleged
      missing/hidden millions needs finding and justice for Lady Hiroko can then be given, as decided by the Law, which I’m sure you agree must always be upheld.

      • Martin: Her name isn’t “Lady Hiroko” or “Lady Hiroko Barcay” – she is by virtue of her ex-husband’s title, Lady Barclay. I know people who’ve worked with her and they found her very tricky. Her own daughter clearly feels similarly. A total mess and as for Sir Frederick, he’s clearly playing a bit of a game also. They deserve each other.

  2. He’s a wonderful man. I remember where he bought those trousers as that same day I’d ordered a similar pair. It matched the interior of the William Kent Room at the Ritz. I sold the Ritz to him and then since resold it to the Qataris. It has views of Green Park and has hosted obviously I and several foreign dignitaries, heads of states, noblemen and clergyman.



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