I don’t think too many fathers would be happy to hear that their daughter has chosen a life of selling sex in any form. This dad is no exception.
- Sir Malcolm Colquhoun says daughter Charlotte, 37, harbours ‘delusions and fantasies’
- 9th Baronet of one of Scotland‘s most ancient clans says troubled daughter has ‘blown it at every turn’
- Charlotte Colquhoun claims she is entitled to family seat and land as his first-born
- Estate in Loch Lomond is entrusted to Sir Malcolm’s oldest son
By SARAH OLIVER
There is a curious symmetry in finding that an aristocrat born on the wrong side of the blanket has wound up making her living between the sheets.
But sadly it is the only neat thing in the damaged and chaotic life of high-class escort Charlotte Colquhoun.
She has portrayed herself as a courtesan with the wit and warmth of a modern-day Nell Gywn.
Yet behind the ‘happy hooker’ headlines is a bleak tale of alleged drug abuse, unsavoury boyfriends, and two babies fathered by drug dealers and put up for adoption.
It is interwoven with expulsions from schools and sackings from jobs along with myriad accusations of petty theft from her parents, midnight flits and damaging property.
Now Charlotte, 37, claims she’s targeting the title, family seat and lands – 45,000 acres on the banks of Loch Lomond and the beautiful 70-room mansion Rossdhu – belonging to her father Sir Malcolm Rory Colquhoun of Luss, 9th Baronet.
It’s her birth right, she claims, and besides, the family motto is Si Je Puis – ‘If I Can’.
Well, not if Sir Malcolm has anything to do with it.
Enraged by her accusations that he cut off his illegitimate first-born child financially and emotionally, he last night spoke exclusively to The Mail on Sunday to accuse Charlotte of being delusional.
He said: ‘There is more chance of me flying to the moon than Charlotte inheriting my Scottish estate, which is all tied up in trust for my eldest son.
‘Sadly, she seems to be harbouring a number of fantasies and delusions.
‘We are enormously saddened that it has come to this. We have tried over the years to offer practical, material and emotional help.
‘Some time ago, I felt that a 37-year-old woman must be able to lead her own life and I called a halt on the help we could give. It is desperately sad for Charlotte.
‘She is not stupid, she is not unattractive, but she has blown it at every turn. I will certainly not be giving her any more money.’
A close family friend revealed: ‘Sir Malcolm is deeply saddened and mystified because he has tried, in so many ways, to help, yet every time he reaches out to her she self-destructs.
‘Until a year-and-a-half ago he was giving her an allowance of £1,000 a month. He was paying for her to live in a house in Plymouth, but she completely destroyed it.
She caused irreparable damage amounting to £8,000 and he paid for it all.
‘That has been the pattern and this episode was when he realised he had reached the end of the journey with her.
He is a very good, honourable, upright person who will always try and do the right thing. It is simply untrue and unfair for him to be portrayed in this way.
‘He paid Charlotte’s school fees, bought her cars and clothes, and most recently tried to encourage her to get into adult education.
But every time, she puts a noose around her neck – she’s her own worst enemy.’
Indeed she is, for she cast aside a childhood of privilege – homes in London and Oxfordshire, her pony Masquerade and Golden Retriever Ella, private schooling and smart holidays – in favour of the world’s oldest and grubbiest profession.
Sir Malcolm and his former lover, Charlotte’s mother Susannah Armstrong, are united in the belief that they have done their best by their wayward daughter.
At her farmhouse home in a fold of the Malvern Hills, interior designer and antiques dealer Susannah carefully tucks two lovingly inscribed Mothers’ Day cards from Charlotte into the family photograph albums that chronicle a happy childhood.
‘For the last 20 years, it feels like every telephone call has brought news of some kind of catastrophe or crisis relating to Charlotte,’ she says. ‘I have rescued her so often. She’s my child.
I love her deeply. Each time I set aside whatever she’s done, label it yesterday’s mistake and try to help her. But now prostituting herself? It made me feel sick to my stomach.
‘I lost control of Charlotte when she was 16. She was more than just your average difficult, headstrong teenager – she has a lack of care for what she does to anyone.
She befriends people, finds their weak spot and then twists the knife. She is terribly charming and very, very believable.
‘I do not hold anything against her, not even the terrible things she has done to me like grabbing my hair and coming at me with a big knife when she lost her temper.
After all I have been through there wasn’t much of my heart left to break and now this.’
The ‘this’ she to which she refers is Charlotte’s decision to advertise herself on escort websites under the pseudonym Charlie Foxtrot, and allude to her aristocratic background in the hope of attracting an older, wealthier clientele able to pay her £140-an-hour charges.
Charlotte this week said she worked as a prostitute because it bankrolled a luxury lifestyle.
Susannah, 66, believes the reasons are more complex. ‘Sometimes I think she has to make everyone’s life hell because she’s so hurt she can’t have the one thing she truly wants, which is to be a proper Colquhoun. She is unbelievably proud of her heritage.’
And therein lies the crux of this morality tale. Charlotte was the product of a blistering love affair between Susannah and Sir Malcolm.
She was conceived while Susannah was married to one man and engaged to another, and he was a bachelor about town, with numerous women friends.
Their affair survived their child’s birth and numerous dalliances by them both. However, because her mother never married her father, Charlotte, while possessing the Colquhoun name, enjoyed none of its glory.
Sir Malcolm has three legitimate children: his sons Patrick, 32, and Fergus, 22, and a daughter Georgina, 20. Patrick, his heir, has already had a son, thus securing a family line that has been unbroken for 1,000 years.
‘If Charlotte had been a boy,’ says Susannah, ‘I honestly think Malcolm would have married me and our son would have inherited everything.’
That Susannah would have liked to marry Malcolm is clear. Whether her own unusual childhood and party lifestyle would have made her a good bride for him is less so.
He was born on the kitchen table at Camstraddan House in Luss, Argyll, where he grew up with a dozen servants in attendance.
She was raised by her mother, her mother’s lover and his wife in a riotously happy household in Cornwall.
After the collapse of a hasty teenage marriage, she moved to London and ran with a louche set of starlets, socialites and stockbrokers.
‘I met Malcolm through my then boyfriend,’ she recalls. ‘He took me on the sleeper up to Camstraddan, where we were met by staff. It was all rather old-fashioned and romantic.
‘We also went to Inveraray Castle to see his sister, who is the Duchess of Argyll. Was it a bit like Downton Abbey? No, actually, it was better.’
So what was the basis of this love affair? She ponders: ‘Malcolm’s elusiveness was the most attractive thing about him.
He was a complicated person.’ And what did he see in Susannah? ‘Trouble,’ she smiles.
The couple regularly went shooting, ate the first grouse of the season at London’s Connaught hotel and holidayed in Bermuda.
In 1975, they became innocently embroiled in a £10 million stolen airline ticket scam that saw Sir Malcolm charged but then cleared of fraud after their joint arrest in the first-class cabin of a flight from Paris to Australia.
After Charlotte’s birth in April 1976, Sir Malcolm officially acknowledged paternity and supported his daughter.
He visited her at Susannah’s Oxfordshire cottage, where he would clean his motorbike while she watched, rapt, from her pram.
Both he and Susannah settled into relationships with other people, Sir Malcolm marrying for the first time and fathering his full-blood son and heir.
The arrival of a half-brother and true new clan chief must have been a painful lesson in Colquhoun genealogy for the youthful Charlotte.
She was still a schoolgirl when she began the decline which has ended in her working as a vice girl.
Susannah and her partner of the past 25 years have drawn up an aide memoire of her love affairs and brushes with the law.
It runs to five closely typed pages of A4 paper. Some entries are funny, such as the week Charlotte disappeared with a performer from the male strip group the Chippendales.
And then there are those that are phenomenally sad, such as the one which documents Charlotte’s daughter’s release from care and her request to come to stay with her mother at Susannah’s house.
This week, Charlotte denied ever taking drugs – something her mother, who claims she intercepted parcels of legal highs and cleaned up syringes and tourniquets from her daughter’s bedroom, finds laughable.
‘Charlotte has been a functioning drug addict since her teens,’ says Susannah. ‘She’s tried pretty much everything I think and introduced her own children to drugs.
Her son has cleaned himself up but her daughter has a habit of her own and a baby by a drugs dealer.’
Charlotte has denied harming her children and has spoken of her devastation at them being taken away.
Susannah sighs deeply and comes as close as she would dare to asking about her own complicity. ‘I sometimes think my daughter would have liked to have been me, to have had the fun I have had.
My life has been lived in two halves and I feel now that my past is catching up with my present. And of course like every other mother I ask myself, “Am I somehow responsible? What could I have done differently?” ’
It’s an admission of sorts that Charlotte’s heritage came with its own complications.
But referring again to that aide memoire, what’s also obvious is that she had many opportunities afforded by love and money, and cast them aside.
Her previous employers include a luxury boat builder, a saddlery business, a marina, a large hospital, and the Naval dockyard at Devonport.
She even had a post as an animal keeper at Longleat, making occasional appearances on the BBC documentary series Animal Park.
None proved as lucrative or as useful for annoying her family as becoming a prostitute.
But as she ponders her next move, Charlotte should remember that the Colquhoun clan chiefs have been repelling raiders since before the time of Rob Roy.
This is another battle they are unlikely to lose.
Culled from dailymail.co.uk