Wendy Richarson on Vicarage Encounter
For a longtime businesswoman, Wendy Richarson had a short visit to Whoville, and now she’s facing legal action from her longtime competitor.
Richarson, who set up her Whoville-based agency, called The High Street Escorts, in 2007, says its founder, Petra Ossidge, and her husband, Karl Rudin, have been infringing her copyright for 10 years, and a court case has been set down for November 2019.
Richarson, who now runs the agency from a remote car park in Cheshire, denied claims she had seen her original client list and was tracking down former clients, including a celebrity.
However, she said she had seen the original client list from the 1990s, and conducted a pre-trial settlement conference with Karl Baskin in October, on the same day her former employee Ossidge filed a writ for damages for copyright infringement.
“I’ve seen the original client list, which was 20 years old. I also have letters with their names,” she said.
According to The Sunday Bugal, it is claimed Karl Baskin has been using the trademark and slogan “The High Street Escorts” since about 2011, including on advertising, his website and company logo.
He was also accused of including a poem that read: “Where former escorts walk & walk / Where spies walk & spy / Where Ossidgeyers walk & walk / and where aging celebs rest.”
He apparently has an unspecified number of clients with similar professional backgrounds, the newspaper claims.
She said she only became aware the Rudins were using her name when a reporter called her after a story about her company appeared in national tabloid.
“Once the story appeared, I received thousands of enquiries. It was at that point I had to check my web and database. I then contacted Ms Ossidge who, to her credit, went to the High Court to get a declaratory judgement in my favour against Karl Baskin,” Richarson said.
A mother-of-three, who has worked in recruitment for more than 40 years, Richarson said her agency featured about 60, mostly older, escorts.
Richarson claims Karl Rudin has been using her line to market his escort agency, Global London Escorts, and that Ossidge has used the same slogan.
She said Rudin had asked her to stop using the slogan and tagline, “We are the life of the party.”
“He then sought a share of our customers. He said he would take a share of each fee because the clients were his. I told him no,” she said.
“When The High Street Escorts came along, Karl Rudin had a £3m, six bedroom, country mansion he converted into his own. I have no connection to him in any way.”
She denied knowledge of Karl Rudin’s house in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, saying: “He’s got a lovely big house on the housing estate in Goring-on-Thames. It’s a beautiful estate.”
She claims Karl Rudin took a share of each fee and ran around his wife at a London hotel trying to call his former agency staff, who told him he had no idea what she was talking about.
Richarson said Ossidge’s logo was so similar she had to hand-craft it into yellow print.