Martin Sorrell 'strenuously denies' he paid for a prostitute with company money

London (AFP) - Martin Sorrell, who recently resigned as head of British advertising giant WPP after allegations of personal misconduct, denied on Monday a report that he used company funds to pay for a prostitute.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal wrote that prior to Sorrell’s departure in April, WPP’s board investigated whether he had “used company money for a prostitute”, citing people familiar with the matter.

However the WSJ stressed in its report that “it is unclear what the probe determined”.

Responding to the weekend story, a spokesman for Sorrell noted that the former WPP founder and head had “signed a non-disclosure agreement when he stepped down which precludes him from discussing any of the circumstances surrounding his departure”.

The spokesman added: “He has rigidly adhered to this obligation and will continue to do so. As regards the allegations which have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Sir Martin strenuously denies them.”

Separately, WPP said it had “been advised that it cannot disclose details of the allegations against Sir Martin Sorrell because it is prohibited by data protection law from giving such details”.

Sorrell, 73, sensationally quit as chief executive of WPP after the company launched an independent probe into an allegation that he misused group assets.

While the investigation concluded that “the allegation did not involve amounts that are material”, Sorrell shocked the industry with his surprise departure.

Sorrell had formed WPP in 1986 by turning Wire and Plastic Products, which made wire baskets for retailers, into a marketing services group.

Last month, he announced plans to launch a communications company, using a similar method that led to the establishment of WPP more than three decades ago.

Sorrell has invested £40 million ($54 million, 45 million euros) to help create an investment vehicle, S4 Capital, with the aim of turning it into a multi-national communication services business.

He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, handing him the title of ‘Sir’.