Widow of Patrick Seale brands children ‘cruel and greedy’ in battle over writer’s £3.5m home

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Rana Seale, widow of the late Patrick Seale, has called Orlando and Yasmine ‘cruel, litigious and greedy’ - Champion News
Rana Seale, widow of the late Patrick Seale, has called Orlando and Yasmine ‘cruel, litigious and greedy’ - Champion News

In one corner sits the widow of renowned historian Patrick Seale and their son Alexander. Opposite are Seale’s other children, including his son Orlando, a one time understudy to Sir Kenneth Branagh, and Delilah Jeary, the daughter by birth of the author Martin Amis.

At stake is the ownership of their £3.5 million family home and a collection of prized Middle Eastern artworks, with the family bitterly divided over who should be able to benefit from Seale’s wealth.

The dispute has resulted in a protracted High Court battle between Rana Seale and her late husband’s daughter Yasmine, along with Yasmine’s two siblings; Delilah, 45, an ITN producer and the daughter of Seale’s first wife Lamorna with author Martin Amis, and Orlando, 48, a musician and actor who understudied Branagh in the Oscar-nominated screen version of Hamlet.

Patrick Seale, a renowned historian and journalist, died of brain cancer in 2014 - AP
Patrick Seale, a renowned historian and journalist, died of brain cancer in 2014 - AP
Martin Amis' daughter Delilah Jeary is involved in the dispute - Archive Photos/Express
Martin Amis' daughter Delilah Jeary is involved in the dispute - Archive Photos/Express
Delilah Jeary - Sarah Lee
Delilah Jeary - Sarah Lee

The dispute broke out following the Seale's death from brain cancer at the age of 83 in 2014, after 29 years of what his widow has admitted was a “stormy” relationship.

In the months leading up to his death, Seale, a respected journalist, historian and art dealer, had severed the couple’s joint ownership of their home in Holland Park, resulting in his half being transferred into his wider estate for the eventual benefit of all his children, rather than passing to Rana on his death.

That left Rana, 62, and Alexander facing being thrown out of the house.

‘Cruel, litigious and greedy’

In court last week, ahead of a full trial in January, Rana Seale described Yasmine, Orlando and Delilah as “cruel, litigious and greedy” and accused them of “ruining our health”.

Rana, herself a writer and historian, told Mrs Justice Bacon: “Nothing can give us back those years, nothing can give back these five-and-a-half years of burlesque proceedings brought against Alexander and myself by his siblings.”

The court heard that Seale, an expert on the Middle East, bought the six-bedroom home in St Ann’s Villas with Rana for £1.75 million in 2009, with the house, pictured below, now worth £3.5 million.

The end terrace former home of author Patrick Seale - Champion News
The end terrace former home of author Patrick Seale - Champion News

Rana, who fled Syria to come to the UK, and Alexander, who is disabled, claim Seale was “unduly influenced” by the three children during a spell of ill-health in his last years.

Orlando, Delilah and Jasmine deny putting undue influence on their father in order to benefit from his estate and say it had been their father’s intention to divorce Rana.

Richard Fowler, the trio’s barrister, said Seale had been advised by his solicitor to consider severing the joint ownership to “protect his interests” when he began considering divorce.

Rana denies that Seale ever intended to divorce her before his death, telling the court during an earlier hearing: “We were saying we wanted to get divorced every day. It was stormy, it was crazy, but it was never subject to divorce.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting