Police were called over a community council meeting at which homophobic remarks were allegedly made about a transgender laird.
Samantha Kane – a barrister who is believed to be the only person in Britain who has changed gender three times – bought Carbisdale Castle in Scotland in 2022 for more than £1 million.
Ms Kane, who goes by Lady Carbisdale, has pledged to sink millions of pounds into restoring the category B-listed 19-bedroom manor, which is close to Ardgay, around 30 miles north of Inverness.
Her plans to acquire seven acres of land surrounding the castle from Forestry and Land Scotland were discussed at a meeting of Ardgay and District community council on Nov 21.
Ms Kane, who is an elected member of the community council, attended the meeting to state her case but had to leave while a vote took place.
One local, who did not want to be named, claimed he heard a woman had been “abusive” towards a committee member understood to have been Ms Kane.
He claimed: “The language she used was exceptionally strong which even a sailor would have been proud of. I wouldn’t use it as a man, never mind it coming from a woman.”
Police Scotland said it received a report of a disturbance in Carron Place, Ardgay, on Nov 23.
Officers issued advice and a woman received a recorded warning in relation to an earlier disturbance on Nov 21.
Ms Kane, 63, told MailOnline it was “really unfortunate” that a “handful of people” had chosen to oppose her plan to take over the land, which she said had no clear use for the public.
‘Homophobic and racist’
Ms Kane also described the police involvement as an “overreaction” despite claiming that some of what was said was “homophobic and racist”.
She said of the alleged abuse: “In my view it wasn’t a disturbance other than a handful of people wanting to see what I’m doing derailed. I’ve got a half a dozen people trying to smear my name and the castle’s name. They’d rather see a ruined castle than a preserved castle.
“At the meeting some people were muttering and making gestures. There was a racist remark, I heard someone say ‘we don’t want foreigners buying Scottish land’.
“I have the support of Highland council and the vast majority of the community, I am passionate about preserving Carbisdale Castle, it will benefit the nation and future generations.
“But it’s pure vindictiveness and discrimination from a minority of people. It’s not acceptable and it shouldn’t happen. I am concerned for younger members of the LGBT community who may be exposed to this sort of discrimination.
“People disrespect me because of my gender identity but they have no right to try and derail efforts to preserve a historic building. Regardless of your sex, gender or orientation, anyone who comes to the Highlands to invest should be respected.”
Ms Kane was born in Iraq and moved to the UK, later making a fortune as the head of investment at a Saudi-owned company. She transitioned to become Samantha in 1997 and in 2004 transitioned back to a man.
In 2018, she underwent further surgery and hormone replacement therapy to revive her transition into femininity.
Police Scotland said: “On the evening of Thursday Nov 23, police were called to a report of a disturbance in the Carron Place area of Ardgay. Suitable advice was provided and one woman was issued with a recorded police warning following an earlier disturbance on Tuesday Nov 21.”