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Apprentice winner has 'used media as a weapon' says lawyer

Lord Sugar and Stella English Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Lord Sugar said he feels "wronged" by a former winner of the Apprentice who is currently suing him for constructive dismissal, an employment tribunal heard today.

Stella English, 34, from Whitstable, Kent, claims she was treated as an "overpaid lackey" after winning series six of the BBC1 programme.

Giving legal submissions today, Lord Sugar's representative Seamus Sweeney said: "The claimant has, in the eyes of Lord Sugar, deliberately courted the media with a view of damaging his reputation."

He told how Ms English had "sold her story" to the press several times and accused her of being a "headline-grabber", deliberately sensationalising aspects of her evidence.

He told the tribunal the same was true of Ms English, adding: "Using the media, in this case, was a weapon of choice... It was a first weapon of choice."

Stella English arrives for Apprentice tribunal

Stella English arrives at East London Tribunal Courts Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Stella English arrived at East London Tribunal Courts this morning. The employment tribunal involving Lord Sugar and the winner of 2010's The Apprentice, is expected to conclude today.

Stella English waves to photographers as she arrives at East London Tribunal Courts Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

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Apprentice employment tribunal could conclude today

Lord Sugar seen outside the East London Employment Tribunal Service at Anchorage House in East India Quay, London. Credit: PA

The employment tribunal involving Lord Sugar and Stella English, the winner of 2010's The Apprentice, is likely to conclude today.

English, 34, is suing the former Amstrad owner for constructive dismissal.

This morning's hearing begins at 10am in east London.

Sugar: 'I was going to try to be generous to your client'

Lord Sugar pictured outside the constructive dismissal hearing on Wednesday. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In an exchange with Philippa Jackson, representing Stella English at employment tribunal, Lord Sugar accused his former employee of lying about her version of events to generate publicity.

When Ms Jackson suggested he appeared angry, he said: "I'm angry because of this, because it's a total lie".

"When I came into the process of this tribunal, I was going to try to be generous to your client, but I've sat here and listened to her over the past two days and there is no other way to describe what she has said than as blunt lies."

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Lord Sugar expresses his anger at 'blunt lies'

At times Lord Sugar was irate as he spoke at the constructive dismissal hearing, at one point saying he wished he has employed another contestant "instead of her" pointing at Stella English.

In response to Ms English's accusation that referring to her, he said: "Nice girl, don't do much", Lord Sugar said:

"Absolute garbage, total garbage...why would I make a statement like that which is tantamount to an insult."

He also dismissed other claims by the 34-year-old as "total nonsense, lies, blunt lies".

Lord Sugar says former Apprentice is 'deluded'

Lord Sugar has dismissed a former winner of the BBC's The Apprentice's claim that she been an "overpaid lackey" at his IT division Viglen and later pressurised to take another role.

Appearing at a tribunal where she is suing him for constructive dismissal, the entrepreneur said Stella English's allegation was "total garbage".

He added that her claim that she was ostracised by colleagues at Viglen was "a figment of her imagination".

The entrepreneur also said Ms English's claim that he told her he "didn't give a s***" was another example of her being "deluded".

Sugar: Ex-Apprentice trying 'to extract money from me'

Lord Sugar condemned a "claim culture" today as he accused a winner of his TV show The Apprentice of lying and taking him to a tribunal to get money.

He said Stella English's constructive dismissal claim "together with its publication in the media, is simply an attempt to extract money from me."

Lord Sugar with series six Apprentice winner Stella English in 2010. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

Lord Sugar also said Ms English wrongly believed he was "scared" of articles about him or The Apprentice appearing in the press.

"I seriously believe the claimant is deluded that I'm frightened about newspaper articles and that I would not appear at a tribunal as a witness."

He said Ms English was under the impression he would pay her off to avoid having to attend the hearing.

But he told the tribunal: "I have no intention to pay her any money unless told to do so by the law."

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