Philip Green has said that despite the fact he ‘behaved like a gentleman’ in relation to BHS’ collapse and his contribution to its pension scheme, he has become “more vilified”.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Green remains adamant that the BHS debacle was not his fault, but noted that his family “lost millions on BHS”. However, he said the most “sad part” of it all is that “having paid and behaved correctly, I've got more vilified”.
“I wrote a cheque for £363m. But nobody has ever said, 'This man behaved like a gentleman, his family behaved properly',” he told the paper. “Fortunately, we were able to pay and rectify it. I was pleased we were able to resolve it.” He also defended going on holiday on his £100m yacht while the BHS pensioners were left in limbo.
“Other than bury myself, what should I do? I wasn't trying to run away. Why should I hide? Wherever I would have gone, I would have been harassed. I am not turning this into a boat conversation. It's my wife's boat, it's not mine," he added.
“I don't think it's grand living [on the yacht], I'm sorry. You're saying I have been successful and I should have to apologise for that?” he stated.
In addition, Green said that Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field “harassed The Pensions Regulator” which led to his payment being held up. “He was on the rampage. This is a personal vendetta. Frank Field is interested in publicity for himself. His behaviour delayed the settlement. I tried very hard for a settlement for many months before writing a cheque.”
On the infamous sale of BHS to Dominic Chappell for just £1 in 2015, Green said he was “wholly mislead by everyone involved with [Chappell]”, adding that the sale was the “worst mistake” of his life.
“You've got no idea how much front this guy has. More than Selfridges and Harrods put together. Those people who know me know there is no way on this planet this business would have been sold to him if I had even a millionth of a thought process he would do what he did,” he noted.