Who is John Bryan in The Crown and did he *really* suck Fergie's toes?

John Bryan has finally opened up about the toe-sucking scandal that took place in real life and was explored in The Crown season 5

Sarah Ferguson and John Bryan
(Image credit: Alamy)

John Bryan was the financial advisor to Sarah Ferguson, who was part of a scandal in 1992 involving the Duchess of York and photographs of him intimately kissing her feet.


In a brand new interview, John Bryan has opened up about the reality of the toe-sucking scandal as he has revealed that the 'knives were out for Sarah at the Palace,' and the incident was actually totally 'innocent.' 

Who was John Bryan?

John Bryan is an American businessman from New York who was referred to as 'Fergie's financial advisor' by the press in the 1990s. reportedly the pair met through mutual friends and became and dated for a short time in 1992.

According to Daily Mail, (opens in new tab) John declared bankruptcy in 1996 and has faced other financial issues following his divorce from his supermodel ex-wife who was just 22 when she married him. 

Why did John Bryan suck Fergie's toes?

In an interview with Daily Mail (opens in new tab), John called the toe-sucking scandal a "total fabrication," and added, "I have a sense of humor about this but it's based on a lie,' he says. 'These lies go back three decades."

"Of course, it didn't happen that way." The advisor added, "My phone has been ringing off the hook with friends calling to tell me I'm in The Crown. In a weird way, it's a great honor to be in the show. But if you go back 30 years, it's all based on lies. It's more serious. That's where the lies started."

John Bryan

(Image credit: Alamy)

He added, "I don't want to be for ever known as 'Fergie's Texan toe-sucking financial adviser'. For starters, I'm from New York."

Speaking openly about his relationship with the Duchess of York, the advisor said, "The attraction was mutual – and instant, I loved her then and I adore her now."

John added that the moment was innocent and wasn't sexual. "We were in a private villa with seven acres of land surrounding us to ensure our absolute privacy. The girls [Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie] were tiny, just four and two. We were out by the pool and I was practicing swimming with the children," he said.

"Yes, Sarah was topless, but this was the South of France for heaven's sake. And we were in private – or so we thought. We're with the kids, having a great time. We used to play fun games, make-believe games. On this day we were playing Cinderella and I said, "Look, let's kiss Mummy's toes". It was part of the game. I did it first and then I think one of the girls, probably Beatrice, did it." John added, "It was totally innocent; a beautiful family moment of love."

sarah ferguson

(Image credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon / Contributor / Getty Images)

John added that he believed the royals are the reason the photos were allowed to be published by the media. He explained that he tried to place an injunction to stop the images from being released, but a lack of support from Buckingham Palace made it impossible.

"The knives were out for Sarah at the Palace. Her separation from Prince Andrew had been announced that March." John added, "In my opinion, my bid for an injunction failed at the High Court because of a lack of support from Buckingham Palace. They [the courtiers] should have done their job and should have supported what was right for the Royal Family, which was to support her."

What happened in The Crown season 5?

In a scene set at Balmoral Castle, Prince Andrew tells his mother that his estranged wife, the Duchess of York has been snapped by the paparazzi in St Tropez 'doing something unmentionable' with her financial adviser.

Prince Andrew then says, "Sucking Sarah's toes, Mummy! Can you imagine? An actual foot. If he was that hungry he could have just ordered a sandwich." The Queen then wryly joked, "Or some sole."

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


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