Statement

17 Dec 2020 – Noon GMT – Chidera Eggerue

We are Diving Bell, a commercial talent management company. We’re proud to represent a small roster of extraordinary individuals who use their platforms to empower their audience. We facilitate their career in tv, radio, podcasting, literary and brand collaborations. Our role does not include the marketing or promotion of our clients’ works.

Our intention with this statement is to give a clear view of the timeline of events in order to give further context to the claims which have been made by Chidera Eggerue. It is only due to exceptional circumstances that we would speak publicly about a relationship with a client.

In July 2018 we were delighted to welcome Chidera to our talent roster. We worked together for over 2 years and had a very close, positive and collaborative working relationship.

In September 2019 Chidera voiced her concerns to us and her book agent (who also represents Florence) that she had seen a press release for Florence’s new book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, and was concerned it may contain similar content to her own upcoming book, How to Get Over A Boy. At this stage Florence had not seen any content from Chidera’s upcoming book.

We and the book agent took Chidera’s concerns incredibly seriously. We listened to her, spoke at length and then acted immediately to facilitate a discussion between Chidera and Florence who in turn spoke at length. After which, Chidera told us that her concerns were entirely resolved and went on to give enthusiastic consent for her endorsement to be featured on the cover of Florence’s book.

In June 2020, on publication day of Florence’s book Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, Chidera contacted Florence directly, expressing that whilst she had not yet read the book, she was unhappy as she felt WDOYP strayed too close to her own work. Chidera did not approach us on this matter. To date, neither Chidera’s or Florence’s publishers have voiced any concern that there is copyright infringement or plagiarism at play. On Chidera’s request, Florence asked her publishers to take immediate action to remove Chidera’s quote and endorsement from the cover of Florence’s book. This was actioned for the next print run.

On 19th October 2020 Chidera ended her representation agreement with Diving Bell stating that our values no longer aligned. In her parting email to us she said ‘I am truly thankful for the great work and memories we have created together and I wish Diving Bell all the best for the future’. In our response we said ‘We have had some incredible experiences together over the last couple of years and as two of your very biggest supporters, we will miss working with you and truly wish you the best of luck and happiness in your work and life.’ We parted ways amicably and continued to work out our 3 months notice together.

On 9th December 2020 we received an email from a journalist informing us that Chidera had given an interview stating her claims referring to Women Don’t Owe You Pretty. She had provided quotes about our company and had removed our contact from her Instagram bio. In light of this, we reached out to Chidera to ask her if she agreed it would be best to end the short time left on the notice period with immediate effect. We have not, to date, received a response from Chidera.

On a personal level, we have both been totally shocked and saddened by the narrative that has been implied to suggest that we protected one client over another due to their race. We take the duty of care of all of our clients incredibly seriously.

During our working relationship we fiercely supported Chidera through good times and the bad and continue to wish her the best.

Kim and Justin, founders.