Negotiating skills hold key to Jaymee's funds

The selling of Child B: Father must bargain hard with media and look to film and book rights to pay for any future treatment
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The Independent Online
On Wednesday she was plain Child B. By yesterday, Britain was getting to know her as Jaymee Bowen. The High Court had lifted an injunction on naming the 11-year-old leukaemia sufferer to allow her father to raise money for future treatment by selling her story.

Precisely how much David Bowen, who last year gave up designing and fitting computer systems to look after Jaymee, receives will depend on his ability to deal with the media.

Although requests are channelled through his London-based solicitor, Rose Sunter, Mr Bowen is handling negotiations himself. According to Ms Sunter, Jaymee's treatment to date - funded by an anonymous donor - has cost in the region of pounds 60,000. "If Jaymee relapsed, the doctor would be looking to repeat that treatment. As a bottom line, Mr Bowen would at least like to have that amount. If it was clear that was not enough and she needed a bone-marrow transplant, the cost quoted last February was estimated at pounds 75,000 for an operation in the UK, pounds 180,000 if she had to travel to the US."

Ms Sunter said that proceeds from deals struck so far amounted to around pounds 30,000. Best magazine, which broke the injunction by naming Jaymee last month, paid Mr Bowen pounds 750. The Daily Mirror also has a contract with the family. The paper has so far paid pounds 6,500 and is making pounds 13,500 available for further treatment. The Sun also paid for its coverage of the story this week.

However, the problem that Mr Bowen faces is that from today the story will have largely been told. Last night, the BBC devoted a Panorama special to the story but its producers say they did not pay for it.

Max Clifford, the PR consultant who has negotiated big fees for former clients such as Antonia de Sancha and Derek Hatton, says that the television coverage and Mirror deal meant that the press had been largely exhausted as a source of revenue.

The chief source of income now, he said, would come from possible book and film deals. He even suggested that "if there is a happy ending and she becomes a real personality, then there's maybe the chance to develop into ads".

Jaymee spoke emotionally of her ordeal last night as she underwent further treatment in Portland private hospital in London. On BBC 1's Panorama she told how she went through operation after operation wondering: "Am I going to see the light again?"

The money chase

More than pounds 60,000 has been spent treating Jaymee Bowen. She could need another pounds 60,000 if she has a relapse, or pounds 75-80,000 if her condition becomes more serious. If she needed treatment in the US, costs could rise by another pounds 180,000. How much could she raise in the fight for a cure?

Newspapers/magazines: Already received: pounds 20,000 from the Daily Mirror, possibly pounds 10,000 from the Sun and pounds 750 from Best. Potential: An additional pounds 30,000 over the years from magazines and one-off buy-ups. Birthday pictures, for example, could be valuable.

TV: Nothing from Panorama. If it had been made by an independent company and sold on, she could have made pounds 20,000.

Film: pounds 100,000 advance could be negotiated with a bonus of 10-20 per cent profit from takings.

Book: If written quickly enough, could be worth pounds 20,000.

Personal appearances: Nil. Bad for image to be seen to be cashing in like this.

Benefactors: pounds 75,000 so far. Hard to evaluate in the future.

Total: pounds 170,000.