CANNES, France, June 22 (Reuters) - Former WPP boss Martin Sorrell denied on Friday that he had visited a prostitute and paid using company money when asked on a stage in front of hundreds of people about why he had left the ad giant.
Sorrell, speaking on the main stage at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, was asked by the New Yorker journalist Ken Auletta about reports in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times that a colleague had reported him for using a prostitute.
“Not true,” Sorrell said, when asked about the reports. He said he had left WPP because he felt the situation had become untenable for him at the company he founded more than three decades ago.
Sorrell, 73, quit WPP in April after the company said it had investigated an allegation of personal misconduct but neither Sorrell nor the company have given any details about the nature of the complaint.
Asked by Auletta about the reports of him visiting a prostitute in London, Sorrell initially referred back to previous denials issued by his spokesman.
“It’s not true,” he said, when pressed for further comment.
“I felt the situation had become untenable and I felt it was in the best interests of the share owners, the clients, the people inside the company,” he added, explaining the reason for his departure. (Reporting by Kate Holton Editing by Keith Weir)