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'Wifelet' of Bath held after fight over who should sleep with peer

POLICE were called to the Marquess of Bath's estate in Wiltshire after one of his "wifelets" was allegedly injured during a late-night fight with a rival.

The woman suffered a suspected broken nose during an altercation over who would "sleep with the peer" that evening at the 18th century stately home, Longleat House, a source said.

Lord Bath (79), who has been described as Britain's most eccentric aristocrat, had apparently already retired for the evening, saying: "You sort it out, I'm going to bed."

Officers went to Longleat following an allegation of a domestic assault. A 45-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm, while the 62-year-old alleged victim was taken to hospital suffering from a cut eye and a suspected broken nose.

Lord Bath is well known for his polyamorous lifestyle. His series of mistresses, or 'wifelets' as he has called them, and his colourful style of dress, acquired during his time as an art student in Paris in the 1950s, has ensured publicity.

Asked about jealousy between his girlfriends, and whether he ever had two of them simultaneously under the same roof, he replied: "Well, I might."

When asked whether that caused problems, he remarked: "Oh no, hopefully they might even fancy each other."

Nesta Wyn Ellis, the author of a book on Lord Bath which was published last year, said "wifelets" were made to feel insecure because he was continually searching for a new woman. "Every time a new female guest appears at Longleat, whatever her reason for being there, a tidal wave of gossip surges through the 'wifelet' community on the estate," she wrote.

Wiltshire police confirmed yesterday that they had been called to Longleat House at 11.15pm last Sunday, after a report of an assault.

Lord Bath could not be contacted for comment. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent