The most passionate opening argument took place outside the courtroom as the Conrad Black trial began yesterday.
Barbara Amiel, the wife of the fallen newspaper tycoon, lashed out at journalists covering her husband's trial for an alleged $84m (£43.2m) fraud. The former columnist, whose lavish spending habits will form a significant part of the prosecution case, called the media "vermin" and described a Canadian television producer as a "slut".
Forced to travel from the courtroom in a lift packed with journalists, Lady Black said: "You journalists are vermin. I used to be a journalist and I didn't doorstep people and I didn't hold my nose in the elevator."
It was a producer from the Canadian television broadcaster CBC who appeared to trigger the tirade. Lady Black shouted at her "you slut". Alana Black, who is Lord Black's daughter from his first marriage, giggled during the incident.
Lady Black later admitted to friends that she had "lost her cool". Her husband had been no less combative on his way into court. "You look like a Vietnam protester," he said to a journalist who was queuing for one of the few spaces available for the press.
Maybe they should get their maid to fetch them some tea and crumpets to help them deal with their rather traumatic outing. My goodness! To be surrounded by mere commoners like that who no doubt probably almost touched them. Tsk, tsk. Can you blame them for being just a tad annoyed? Ah, the trials and tribulations of the rich. How they suffer. It's a travesty, really.