_UGLY_ Author Wins Court Case Against Cruel Mother
CONSTANCE Briscoe, 51, who made a fortune from her "misery" genre novel Ugly, in which she claims she was called "Miss Piss A Bed" by her cruel mother and had a sexual pass made at her by her stepfather, has today successfully defended herself against claims of libel by her mother who was supported by Briscoe's brothers and sisters.
Constance Briscoe burst into tears when the jury read out their verdict of not proven against the mother, Mrs Briscoe-Mitchell, 74. Ms. Briscoe, the defendant, now a successful barrister, was further humiliated by her mother who claimed in court that her daughter had been a shoplifter and that she was motivated by revenge because she - Mrs Briscoe-Mitchell - had written to warn her daughter's chambers that they were taking on "a thief".
Constance Briscoe, 51, wrote in her 2006 memoir Ugly that she was punched, kicked and beaten by her mother.
Carmen Briscoe-Mitchell, 74, from Southwark, south-east London, sued Ms Briscoe and her publishers, saying the allegations were "nonsense".
Ms Briscoe burst into tears when the unanimous verdict was read out.
She said: "I am very happy with the jury's verdict.
Sadly, as we know from the news over the past few weeks, child abuse is all too common and nothing and no one should ever stand in the way of the truth
Publishers Hodder & Stoughton
"It is sad that my mother still feels the need to pursue me.
"Now I just want to get on with my career," she said after the verdict at London's High Court.
Ms Briscoe took a moment to thank her readers, who she said had sent her messages of support throughout the trial.
"I can quite understand why my family went into collective denial but whilst child abuse may be committed behind closed doors it should never be swept under the carpet."
Mrs Briscoe-Mitchell, who also sued publisher Hodder & Stoughton, told the court during the trial that her daughter's book amounted to "lies" and that they had enjoyed a loving relationship.
She left court without commenting on the verdict.
In a statement, the publishers said they were proud of Ms Briscoe and added that recent stories of horrific child abuse have served as a reminder of the need for openness.
"Sadly, as we know from the news over the past few weeks, child abuse is all too common and nothing and no one should ever stand in the way of the truth."
Ms Briscoe vigorously defended the memoir as "substantially true".
Mrs Briscoe-Mitchell, a mother of 11, maintained throughout the two-week hearing that she worked hard to raise her family, often without their father, working as a dressmaker.