Former Eternal manager appears to confirm wild story about international hot chocolate demands

Eternal band members Easther and Vernie Bennett.

As Easther and Vernie Bennett, members of 90s British R&B girl group Eternal, find themselves at the centre of a row over a scrapped reunion, stories of Vernie’s alleged behaviour towards their management team have resurfaced.

Eternal made headlines this week after former members Louise Redknapp and Kéllé Bryan pulled out of a reunion tour planned for next year. According to the Mirror, the pair abandoned plans to reform after the Bennett sisters reportedly refused to perform at Prides and LGBTQ+ festivals such as Mighty Hoopla due to the events’ support of the trans community.

After the story broke, Redknapp released a statement on social media, posting the trans-inclusive Pride flag with the caption “Always and forever” – a nod to the name of their debut album.

But the Bennett sisters’ current manager, Denis Ingoldsby, has hit back, telling the Mirror that Redknapp’s team were “misrepresenting” the details of a private email and had “thrown [the Bennett sisters] under the bus”.

As Redknapp and Bryan drew praise for their staunch allyship, stories are now resurfacing of Vernie’s alleged demands of former managers.

Lousie Redknapp Kéllé Bryan Eternal
Lousie Redknapp (L) and Kéllé Bryan reportedly pulled out of an Eternal reunion in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. (Getty Images)

In a 2013 autobiography, legendary music manager Jazz Summers, who briefly worked with Eternal and died in 2015, recounted a time when the sisters were in Los Angeles for a photoshoot and called management in London in the middle of the night.

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According to Summers, Vernie contacted their day-to-day manager Sarah Bowden, who was in London, when a hot chocolate one of them had ordered via room service in their California hotel hadn’t arrived.

Summers wrote that Vernie called Bowden from the US at one in the morning London time, asking her to contact the hotel to find out where it was.

Bowden responded that she could only make international calls from her sister’s house, a 30-minute walk away. After arriving at her sister’s house 40 minutes later, Bowden called Vernie, who told her the drink had now arrived and she no longer needed any help.

Bowden took to social media on Monday (25 September), in response to viral screenshots of the autobiography, to confirm the story. “Never seen this before, but it’s completely true,” she wrote, with an added cry-laughing emoji.

The row over the scrapped Eternal reunion continued with the Bennett sisters’ current manager, Denis Ingoldsby, fiercely defending them and Redknapp’s team standing their ground.

In a statement to The Mirror, Ingoldsby said that Redknapp’s team were “misrepresenting” the details of a private email and had “thrown [the Bennett sisters] under the bus”.

Ingoldsby went on to say: “For [Redknapp’s] camp to go on the record suggesting they are homophobic is utterly outrageous. This is nothing about gay rights. The girls have played numerous LGBTQI venues their entire careers and have been inspired by the love and acceptance they have received.

“This is about the debate about the trans lobby and the erosion of the rights of women and children. Vernie said she had some concerns about the Pride movement being hijacked – and she is not alone – but this has now been weaponised against her, with Louise’s team trying to get her cancelled.”

But Redknapp’s publicist, Simon Jones, responded by saying: “Easther and Vernie can try and dress this up however they wish. The fact remains that the duo said they would only do the Eternal reunion if no Pride or LGBTQ+ festivals were included.

“[Redknapp] would obviously not agree to excluding the LGBTQ+ community from their touring plans. We, as a team, absolutely do not agree with dividing the LGBTQ+ community or excluding trans people.”