Constance Briscoe and Carmen Briscoe-Mitchell

The mother of a high-flying barrister has lost her libel case over a book in which her daughter accused her of child abuse.

Carmen Briscoe-Mitchell, 74, claimed Constance Briscoe, one of the first black women to sit as a judge in Britain, had written a ‘piece of fiction’ in her best-selling memoir, Ugly.

She sued part-time judge Ms Briscoe, 51, and publishers Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, who brought out her memoir in January 2006.

Both denied libel and said the book was substantially true.

During an emotional 10-day hearing at London’s High Court, Ms Briscoe told Mr Justice Tugendhat and a jury her mother repeatedly beat her with a stick for bed-wetting, called her a ‘dirty little whore’ and drove her to attempt suicide by drinking bleach. Continue Reading….

I’ve read ‘Ugly’ and it is extremely harrowing in parts.  

Constance’s mother/abuser Carmen Briscoe-Mitchell was clearly a sadistic, vile, mean spirited lunatic, who now chooses to live in denial.  I wish you the best of luck with that Carmen!

Congratulations to Constance for winning this case.

17 replies »

  1. I just want to say… there are so many mothers in denial about what they have done… Success is the best revenge.. wicked people will never have rest… I read both books and related so much to ulgy and beyond… Mrs Mitchell and her horrid husband should accept what is Constance Briscoe is someone… Contance is an inspiration…

    Anything thing is possible in life.. hard work committment and determination..Constance Briscoe… made me more aware of that. All the best Gwen O’Garro

  2. I simply can’t get enough of “ugly.I am deeply inspired and it goes a long way to show u can achieve anything you want with dedicatn and hardwork. Shame on carmen. I am also dissapointed at her sibblings. I think death will be an easy way out for carmen . She should continue to live with that heavy burden for the rest of her life.she is indeed a disgrace

  3. My Dearest Dearsest Constance,
    I’ve just finished reading your first biography “Ugly” in 4 days inbetween doing the mundane things we do in life which is unheard of for me as I’ve always had trouble with books keeping my attention. Let me just say this to you Constance (or should i really call you Your Honour) that I never wanted to put Ugly down at all & if I’d had my way I’d never would’ve put it down!!! I found Ugly to be nothing short riveting, enthralling, enspiring & an absolute Gem to read!! As I continued to read through page after page my heart went out to you on many many occasions. I just couldn’t believe that a mother could be so cruel to her child that just wanted to feel loved by her mother. I take my hat off to you Constance & I hope one day (Though I’m not sure it’ll ever happen) that I could meet you so I could tell you to your face how much I admire your inner strength & determination to keep striving for your dreams. You never let anyone steal your dream throughout everything that happened to you. I shed tears of sadness many times throughout Ugly & was so happy for you when i read the last 2 or 3 pages. I’d also like to say that even though I’m not your father that I’m so so Proud of You & you’re going to become the one person on earth that I’m going to use to enspire my 4 children & 3 grandchildren to even greater things. Everything that Your mother said about you was an absolute lie & I’m so happy for you that you were able to stand your ground the last time you spoke to your mother show her who the really strong one that hael the family together was!! Well, I must go no otherwise this note is going to end up as big as a thesis HeHe. I’m now going to read beyond Ugly & I’m really looking forward to it. reading Ugly has just given me so much to look forward to in life!!! Kindest Possable Regards to you Miss Briscoe, Your Honour.

    P.S. My 15 year old daughter is wanting to be a lawyer in New Zealand & I just hope she portrays the same morals, ethics & detemination as you’ve do. I’ve just sent her an email telling her to get Ugly out of the library as she needs to read it.

  4. Dear Constance,
    I am trying with great difficulty to get a good sympathic lawyer to even Listen to me never mind act for me. I live in Inverness Scotland and was sexually abused by my Social Worker
    Please help
    I am attending a councillor but she is having the same problems
    Ilook forward to your reply,Thank you

  5. I read your book and cried a lot during that time. I really felt the sorrow that you must have suffered in your childhood and how almost everybody choose to turn a blind eye. I am happy to see what you have become and made me work even harder in my life to have my own dreams fulfilled. Thank you for inspiring me. One piece of advice: Do not allow your mother to win! Because if you keep on doing surgery on your body because of the haunting statements of her saying that you are ugly, you are allowing her to win. You are made in the image of God and God is good! May God continue to bless you. Surely goodness and mercy will follow you, all the days of your life.
    P/S.I really would like to know you personally.

  6. Beautiful book!!!!!!!

    How god let a person like your mother should be a mother!!!!!

    Congratulations for the book and your victory!!!

    PS – god blessed you!!!!!!!! I really would like to know you personally!!!!!

    Fernando – Brazil

  7. I am certainly disgusted at what this mother did to this young girl. There is no excuse for it. But, on the other hand time has passed and if Carmen has truly repented and sought God’s forgiveness, who are we to still hold on to it. That’s the problem with us humans, we DO NOT want to forgive.

  8. Remember how Jesus suffered on that cross. We must learn to forgive and move on . Right now Constance is stuck in her pass. She has to move on!

  9. Hello Constance..I’m only halfway through your book “UGLY’. You went through a terrible life is making it up to you. Good-Luck in future years…and completely forget about that Horrible person. She is NOT a mother.

  10. Hello Constance I heard yours books I understand your pain wish I had your strength glad you made something of yourself keep it up your mother needs to get out of denial and ask for forgiveness and you must also forgive her it is for the best you are a beautiful girl and woman keep loving yourself shame on brothers and sisters for not helping you out thats the lease their could have done after watching what you been through their are big and should not be afraid of their mother Gods blessing

  11. I understand it will never be too late to reply to this.I have just finished reading the first book, UGLY, and I would wish to get the other book, BEYOND UGLY.I congratulate Miss Briscoe, a.k.a Clare as I used to know her more than half of the book, for being who she was created.I cried when reading the book and could not hold the tears from dropping..The memoir touched me in a way that I could not explain.I felt so symphathetic for Clare, now her Ladyship Constance Briscoe. UGLY encourages, uplifts and it’s full of hope!Finally,we are living in a sinful World, we need to stay connected to God and we should forgive our fellow human beings just as JESUS did to the human race..I believe, Madam Judge, you have already forgiven your mother and hoping to meet her in heaven. It’s time to forget about the awful childhood and look forward to the future and particularly, BEYOND DEATH.I will be glad to meet Clare and her mother, Carmen in heaven. God bless you all.

  12. hello my name is lorraine im halfway through reading your book ugly and it gives me a lump in my throat ;it brings me back to my childhood i was abused by my mother too and my sister and brother where abused too; i know your pain a mother like that does notdeserve to have children what gives your mother the right to call you ugly i think you are so pretty ; my mother has passed away recently i still feel very angry about what she did to me; i have six children of my own and i swore i would never abuse them like that god knows its wrong why does he let it happen to people like us; i am so happy that you have made something of your life . it would be an honour to meet up with you in person but im living in ireland good luck in the future ypur honour

  13. constance you are a true inspiration, I have read a lot of books about true stories and your book Ugly rocked me to my very core, I read constantly for a bout two days because I just couldn’t put it down it was shocking and sad and and disturbing and happy all at the same time I am so glad you followed your dream against all odds you showed that evil woman that dared to call her self a mother what you were truely made of you are awsome.

  14. Wow, what a happy fantastic outcome, so happy for you, after years of abuse, I nearly put the book down as it upset me too much, it was only because I saw ur picture at the back and saw a happy ending that I could continue reading. You are a BEAUTIFUL woman, and an inspiration to all, I kept imagining my daughter as she is 14 and I had a lump in my throat whilst reading.

    My other daughter is at university doing a law degree, and hopefully her dream will come true to become a barrister too.

    I have told her to read the book, and I say well, “If Constance Briscoe can do it with all she had to go through, anyone can” You are absolutely AMAZING…I am now going to read beyond Ugly tomorrow, Bless ya, Joanna

  15. Judging by recent events in Ms Briscoe’s life it does seem plausible that she has lied about many things. Considering she is now on trial for perverting the course of justice does it not also seem possible that this misery memoir is more than likely also lies. How would her mother be able to seriously fight a case against such a high profile member of the judiciary service. LIES LIES LIES!

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December 2008
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