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The widow of millionaire author Patrick Seale describes his children as being “cruel and greedy” on their side


The widow of a millionaire writer has criticized his “cruel and greedy” children during a High Court dispute over her family’s £3.5m home and valuable art collection.

Rana Sell has been married to world-renowned writer Patrick Seale for 29 years and lives with him in their three-story, six-bedroom home in elegant Holland Park, west London.

She says their daughter Jasmine Seal and two of her stepchildren – one Martin Amis’ child and the other a former surrogate for Sir Kenneth Branna – are now suing to expropriate her home.

The couple’s relationship was tumultuous, and Seal, who was respected for his work as a historian of the Middle East, spoke to lawyers about divorcing his wife before his death, aged 83, from brain cancer in April 2014.

Patrick Sell

Rana Seal, widow of world journalist and historian Patrick Seal, (right) engages in a court battle with their daughter Yasmine (Rana is seen on the left with four-year-old Yasmine)

Oxford-educated Mr. Seale broke the joint lease of their house, converting half of it to his property in place of Mrs. Seale.

Now Jasmine Seal and her sons Delilah Jerry and Orlando Seal are suing her to sell the house she lives in and split the proceeds.

But Ms Seal, 63, with the support of the couple’s disabled son Alexander, who she lives with, is fighting to get her late husband’s half-sign back.

Due to delays in court deadlines, Rana was previously excluded from fighting the case against Jasmine, Orlando and Delilah, with only Alexander participating.

But the court has heard that she now wants her re-engagement so that she and Alexander – their two interests “one by one” – can join forces.

However, even if she did not rejoin as a party, she would benefit if Alexander won, because she would be able to continue living there with him.

During a Supreme Court hearing, she said she lives with her son in fear of being “kicked out on the streets” if she loses.

Ms Seale has criticized the trio as “cruel, litigious and greedy” and accused them of “destroying our health” ahead of a full hearing on the legal battle for the house which is set to take place in January.

“Nothing can bring us back those years, nothing can bring us back these five and a half years of farcical proceedings brought against Alexander and I by his brothers,” she told Mrs. Justice Bacon.

The court heard Middle East expert Patrick and Rana, a British-Syrian historian, bought their three-storey, six-bedroom home in St Anne’s Villas for £1.75 million in 2009 and, according to an online home price calculator, is now worth about 3.5 million pounds sterling.

Seal has had his son Orlando, 48, an actor and former replacement for Branagh, since his first marriage to writer Lamorna Heath. He also introduced ITN producer Delilah, 45, who was born after an affair Amis had with Miss Heath.

Rana is fighting her daughter Yasmine (pictured) and her two sons-in-law after her husband's death in 2015

Rana is fighting her daughter Yasmine (pictured) and her two sons-in-law after her husband’s death in 2015

The court heard Middle East expert Patrick and Rana, a British-Syrian historian, bought their three-storey, six-bedroom home in St Anne's Villas for £1.75 million in 2009 and, according to an online home price calculator, is now worth about 3.5 million pounds sterling

The court heard Middle East expert Patrick and Rana, a British-Syrian historian, bought their three-storey, six-bedroom home in St Anne’s Villas for £1.75 million in 2009 and, according to an online home price calculator, is now worth about 3.5 million pounds sterling

Mr. Seal took care of Delilah and told her before college began that Ames was her father. Mr and Mrs Sell had two children together, poet and writer Jasmine, 31, and journalist Alexander Sell, 33.

Mr. Seal divided his fortune equally in his will between Mrs. Seal and the four children.

Mrs. Seal and Alexander initiated court proceedings to prevent the sale of the house, arguing that the property should go to Mrs. Seal.

The mother and son say Mr Seal was suffering from a terminal illness “undue influence” in the weeks before his death, when he began divorce proceedings and cut the joint lease.

Ms Seale, a British historian and a Syrian, who represents herself, said threats of divorce appeared in their “stormy” relationship, but they never happened.

“He completely denied his ability to attempt a divorce from me… He completely denied that the divorce proceedings were nothing more than a ploy to attempt to rob half of my marital home after 29 years of marriage.”

She is sued by Jasmine's stepchildren, Delilah Jerry (pictured) and Orlando Seal

She is sued by Jasmine’s stepchildren, Delilah Jerry (pictured) and Orlando Seal

She also said that she objected to their being handed over to the attorneys, insisting that since she and Alexander were entitled to a fifth share each by Patrick’s will, their interest was not lost.

But Fowler, as for the three brothers, said they were simply acting properly as executors in pursuit of Patrick’s estate assets so that they could be sold and everyone could receive their rightful inheritance.

“This was a real estate asset and they were trying to get it,” he said. “When it materializes, the five have an interest in it.”

For Orlando, Delilah, and Jasmine, attorney Richard Fowler denies any undue influence.

He said his attorney advised Patrick to consider separating the joint property “to protect his interests” when he began considering a divorce.

He said the three children have no control over Patrick’s finances, nor do they have day-to-day responsibility for his care and well-being.

Fowler insisted that they were not in control of Patrick, but were acting as assistants, giving directions and carrying them out.

Mr. Seal introduced ITN producer Delilah, who was the product of an affair established by his first wife, Lamorna Heath, with British novelist Martin Amis. Pictured: Delilah with Ames and her son Isaac



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