This has reportedly enraged the well-known author, especially as the story has spread like wildfire from traditional print media — in this case The Telegraph — into the blogsphere, as reported by the Guardian, who devoted the whole of its page two on the matter under the headline “‘I was never called Scruffy’ — Rushdie set to sue over former bodyguard’s claims:”
Ron Evans, the book’s author, claims Rushdie was imprisoned by his guards who “got so fed up with his attitude that they locked him in a cupboard under the stairs and all went to the local pub for a pint or two. When they were suitably refreshed they came back and let him out.”
The author was alerted to the claims by a newspaper story about the alleged cupboard incident last weekend, which has subsequently been picked up on websites and blogs.
Rushdie said: “The simple fact of the matter is that nothing of this sort happened. My relationship with my protection team was always cordial, certainly entirely professional. This kind of absurd behaviour never occurred. There are three references in his article to drinking on duty – it is absolutely forbidden for police officers, particularly in possession of firearms, to drink on duty. They did not do so.
“The idea of them raiding my friend’s wine cellars then me asking them to pay for this is completely fictitious. It is absurd the idea that they would lock me in a cupboard and go to the pub.
“It is like a bad comedy. My relations with the protection officers were cordial and I am still friendly with a few of them. At the end of my nine years of protection they held a reception for me. I had a lot of sympathy and understanding from the police. Our relationship was the exact opposite of what has been written. I never heard myself called by the name Scruffy in nine years.”