Sir Martin Sorrell has denied slapping the face of former WPP colleague Jim Prior at a conference in Portugal earlier this month.
WPP’s lawyers allege Sorrell slapped Prior’s face in a meeting room at the Web Summit in Lisbon.
Prior, who is currently the head of WPP’s Superunion brand agency network, told Campaign Asia last year “Martin is a long, long, long way behind in the rearview mirror now”.
It is alleged Sorrell approached Prior at the recent conference before “launching into a tirade” about the comments.
Speaking with the Financial Times, Sorrell seemingly confirmed there had been an altercation between the two former colleagues, but denied the full allegations.
When asked whether there had been a physical altercation between the pair, Sorrell responded: “what do you mean by ‘physical contact’?”.
But when asked whether he had touched the face of Prior, Sorrell told the publication: “I didn’t slap him as you suggested”.
He did, however, “take [Prior] to task about his previous comments that S4 Capital was a speck in the rearview mirror. I said when you are in a car crash, the speck catches up fast”.
A witness told the Financial Times Sorrell “almost immediately” slapped Prior on the cheek.
Another witness reported a heated altercation between “a taller man and much shorter one” with swearing and shouting, but did not report a slap.