Reading the heartfelt post which Dr Duff recently contributed has brought into even sharper focus Jim Perrin’s distasteful behaviour.
At the beginning of their relationship, when she trusted him, doubtless Jac would have confided in him, and thus he was able to acquire his knowledge of her past love and their lost child. ‘Knowledge is Power’, and we have been told by others how adept Jim Perrin was at discovering their secrets… But to make public that traumatic period in our sister’s life was a mean betrayal of her deepest confidences, and that he should have written of this highly personal matter in West, when she had died — and in the exaggerated and melodramatic way that he did — was nothing less than repellent self-interest. Possibly he thought it added spice to the book…
It was not Jim Perrin’s place to reveal something which had been so guarded and so private; it was not his story to tell. For him to have done so is yet another example of his self-aggrandisement. And we wonder how he thought Jac’s children would feel (or other members of her family, or her friends) who might not have known of the loss of their mother’s baby; or how they might have reacted to the salacious descriptions of their mother in his book. We begged them not to read it, as it was in places so vile — though he would probably have been gratified if they had been upset, as he had left them on such spiteful terms. Please see: ‘Anonymous letter written by Jim Perrin’.
For Jim Perrin to have given away Jac’s history was one thing; and as we said, her family might have been entirely unaware — only consider their shock had they learned of it second-hand in what, in our opinion, was a second-rate book by a second-rate man. But he should have resisted the temptation to ‘know it all’ and to ‘tell it all’. And he should have refrained altogether from ‘telling’ such quantities of offensive, downright and provable lies…
Here we might add: he did not limit his lies only to our sister and Dr Duff, but to other people — ex-wives; former partners; his son (as a child); his family history, describing at length his Welsh ancestry with his pretence that he was descended from generations of Denbighshire folk. (Not true, but no sign either of his imagined Huguenot connections; he added them later, in the details of his ‘biography’ on Wikipedia…) And further, and with extraordinary emphasis, was his claim of a diagnosis (in 2007) of very seriously advanced Terminal Lung Cancer — luckily he seems to have made a remarkable recovery. His book is littered with lies…
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We believe that in West the author deliberately chose to create the opportunity to blacken the name of one whom he had always hated — how he must have relished his chance — and he set up his stall accordingly. His nasty retelling of the events about which Dr Duff wrote so movingly and with such sensitivity (and we know that his was first-hand evidence) shows the depths to which Jim Perrin will sink, with no compunction whatever.
Although, by not actually naming Jac’s first love, yet he knew exactly what he was doing: to any who know Dr Duff, and there are many in climbing circles, Jim Perrin could not have made it more obvious that it was Dr Duff to whom he was referring. It was a despicable trick and a venomous piece of writing — and in a style which we have seen Jim Perrin using before — ‘libelling libel-lessly’. Nevertheless, in essence, it was libellous.
We greatly admire Dr Duff for his resolve in allowing the truth to be made known, and for explaining the genuine history between our sister and himself. It is good to have the facts shown as they really were; and for him to have written his own utterly sincere account of that time — the saddest of all stories. We thank him again, so much, for what can only have been a deeply troubling undertaking but one for which we do know there has already been a most supportive feedback. Particularly noted was the overwhelming sadness, and the honest and simple telling of what had been endured.
We would like to say that any further contributions from readers of our site would always be of interest, and more than welcome — and, of course, need not be attributable.