Netflix’s The Crown under fire as Fergie’s ‘toe-sucker’ breaks silence

The man involved in the so-called “toe-sucking scandal” with Sarah, Duchess of York in the early 1990s has hit out at The Crown’s reinvention of events in the south of France, calling the retelling of the incident a “total fabrication”. The Duchess of York married Prince Andrew in 1986, but the couple publicly separated in early 1992.

Shortly after the split went public, Sarah was photographed in her villa in St Tropez along with her financial advisor at the time, John Bryan.

In the photographs, Mr Bryan can be seen kissing the arch of the Duchess’s foot and placing her toes in his mouth in what infamously became known as the “toe-sucking scandal”.

The incident has now been recreated in the controversial Netflix drama based on the Royal Family, The Crown.

The latest season, released earlier this month on the streaming platform, focuses on the 1990s for the Firm.

In the fictionalised series, the Duke of York is depicted telling his mother, the Queen, about the publication of the intimate photos, including snaps of Fergie and Mr Bryan kissing, from the Duchess’s holiday home.

Addressing the images three decades on from their debut on the front pages, Mr Bryan dismissed The Crown’s interpretation of the events in the early 1990s as a “total fabrication”.

He told The Mail on Sunday: “I have a sense of humour about this but it’s based on a lie.

“These lies go back three decades.”

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Mr Bryan said: “We were in private – or so we thought. We’re with the kids, having a great time.

“We used to play fun games, make-believe games. On this day we were playing Cinderella and I said, “Look, let’s kiss Mummy’s toes”.

“It was part of the game. I did it first and then I think one of the girls, probably Beatrice, did it.

“It was totally innocent, a beautiful family moment of love.”

Mr Bryan described a sense of “relief” when he saw the photos for the first time, once the Duchess had returned to the Royal Family’s Scottish estate, Balmoral, with Princess Beatrice and Eugenie.

But he said the photos – which he described as “beautiful” – were separate from the “despicable” story that accompanied them.

Calling the story a “twisted, sick, fabricated narrative”, he said: “They sexualised something so innocent.”

Mr Bryan attempted to take out a High Court injunction on the photographs at the time, but his legal bid failed to prevent the images being published in the press.

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