Duchess drops book action

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The Duchess of York has dropped legal action to block publication of a controversial new book about her life, the publishers said yesterday.

The duchess took out an injunction against publication of Dr Allan Starkie's Fergie, Her Secret Life, dubbed "the book she tried to ban". The publishers Michael O'Mara Books said the duchess had backed away after being asked to lodge pounds 500,000 with the court in case she lost the action. The book will now be published on 4 November.