10 MARCH 1990, Page 26

Unfair to Fairlie

Sir: I was astonished that The Spectator should publish such a tasteless article as that by George Gale on Henry Fairlie (to whom I was married and lived with for 17 years).

In addition to causing distress to Henry's family and friends, I consider it was quite unnecessary to identify two women. Cer- tainly the manner in which he referred to all the women mentioned was offensive; and I am informed by reliable sources that some statements were far from the truth, both in fact and implication.

The article contains too many gross `inaccuracies' to enumerate here. But to suggest that I introduced my mother into the family will-nilly is outrageous. In fact, it was Henry who first suggested she should

`Check the sell-by date of the alphabet soup.' join us and only after we had talked it over did she come to live with us in Lewes. It was a joint decision.

George states that I 'was never allowed to live with him [Henry] in America'. This is chauvinistic nonsense! We all lived together in Georgetown until circumst- ances made it necessary for me to return to England with our children.

It is sad that a journalist of George's calibre should sink to the level of the worst tabloids.

Lisette Fairlie

Fern House, Sinnock Passage, Old Town, Hastings, East Essex