Lord Conrad Black's grip on his former empire is ever looser.

The fallen media baron and his wife, Barbara Amiel Black, quondam stars of the London social scene, have quit as directors of US-headquartered Hollinger International [H-Intl], publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

Black, erstwhile owner of the UK Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers, was ousted as ceo of H-Intl in 2003 and is now besieged by criminal and civil investigations over the alleged 'looting' of his businesses.

He is being sued by his Toronto-headquartered holding company, Hollinger Incorporated [H-Inc], for alleged financial misconduct to the tune of C$636 million ($524m; €405m; £279m).

His Lordship is also pursued by the US Attorney's Office in Chicago and faces civil fraud charges filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC alleges Black and his henchman David Radler diverted $85m into their own pockets from the coffers of H- Intl. Both men deny wrongdoing and insist the payments were authorized by the company's board.

The board also paid Lady Black, a 90 degree-right-leaning columnist, more than $1.3m over fours years in her capacity as 'vp, editorial'.

The couple's 'retirement' means they wave goodbye to a $50k annual pay check and $3k for each board meeting they attended.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff