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TV star’s husband fails to gag Press at tribunal

The husband of Give My Head Peace actress Alexandra Ford has failed to have a gagging order enforced on the media, which would prevent the reporting of moves to have him banned from working as a talent agent.

Ford, famed for her role as Dympna in the hit television show, appeared with her partner Mark McCrory at the opening day of the Employment Tribunal case brought against him by a government department.

According to the Sunday Life, she wept as McCrory told the hearing his wife was seven weeks pregnant with the couple’s second child.

Dressed in black, blonde Ford arrived hand-in-hand with McCrory for the hearing in Belfast last week, the outcome of which is crucial to his career.

McCrory, who manages almost 100 of Ulster's best-known stage, movie and television stars, including his wife, was convicted in 2007 of indecently assaulting a blonde actress during a “private audition” at his Belfast offices.

At that trial, Ford gave evidence in support of her husband saying he was not capable of such an act.

It has now emerged that Stormont's Employment Department is threatening to shut down McCrory's AM:PM The Actor's Agency because of his “improper conduct” and ban him from working as an agent.

At the opening day of the hearing 38-year-old McCrory sought reporting restrictions, revealing his wife was seven weeks pregnant with their second child.

He also said the negative publicity would destroy his business.

He appealed for the Press to be banned from reporting details of the case until the tribunal panel had made its decision.

He argued: “More publicity now would put extreme stress on my wife who is seven weeks pregnant, and my business would be unable to continue.”

McCrory said he did not want a repeat of the first day of his trial for indecent assault when the couple's baby's first day out was spent in court.

“We had to bring a 10-day-old baby to court — that's no way to bring a child into the world,” he said. But tribunal chairman Mr SA Crothers rejected the appeal for reporting restrictions saying it was not in the public interest, adding that McCrory's conviction for indecent assault was already widely known.

High profile names on the books of east Belfast man McCrory include Hollyoaks actress Bronagh Waugh, Holby City star Adam Best, Belfast model Katie Larmour and Tessa Nicholson who caused a storm at Belfast's Opera House when she stripped off for controversial play Closer in 2007.

McCrory also provided actors for Northern Ireland-shot films City of Ember, Fifty Dead Men Walking and the upcoming Cherrybomb.

His 2007 conviction followed an incident in May 2005 when he groped and tried to kiss a blonde actress.

He said he had not been present at his offices at the time of the attack when quizzed afterwards.

But magistrate Amanda Henderson branded McCrory a liar and handed him a suspended prison sentence. He has also been placed on the sex offenders' register until 2014.

Belfast Telegraph


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