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27 September 2023

Samantha Kane (1960 - ) executive.

Original version 6/10/2011, revised March 2017, September 2023.

Sam Hashimi was born and raised in Zofaranaya, a suburb to the south of Baghdad. When the family was out, he would dress in his sister’s clothes, until caught by his brother. His one masculine interest at school was football. However he was perceived as feminine by the other boys, and started having sex with them in the passive role.

At age 16, he moved to England, to Swindon where he took a National Diploma in engineering. He financed it by selling hot food at night from a van. He met a woman in a disco, and eventually married her in 1984 in a Anglican church in a village outside Swindon. They soon had two children. He launched two companies: one importing fruit and vegetables, and the other making computers.

He later met an Arabian sheikh and they created a property and investment company. This company thrived. Hashimi became known for negotiating on behalf of wealthy Arabs. He also ran a club and a restaurant in Mayfair. In 1990 he had the opportunity of investing in Manchester United Football Club, but was unable to raise the required ₤10 million in the specified 24 hours. Later the same year he launched an unsuccessful takeover bid for Sheffield United FC, at a time - unlike today - when foreign ownership of British football clubs was not done. The bid resulted in much publicity. It was discussed in the House of Commons, and the Saudi King expressed his disapproval. Coincidentally it came out that a Sheffield company was supplying materials for Iraq to build a ‘supergun’, and then Iraq invaded Kuwait. The deal was off; his major investor pulled out; Hashimi was bankrupt.

For the first time he told his wife that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body. She was at first sympathetic and helped him to cross-dress, but quickly segued to divorce, and, once she found another rich man to keep her, ousted Sam from the family home, and obtained injunctions to keep him from seeing the children. In violation of those injunctions he was arrested and served a few months in HMP Wormwood Scrubs.

During a subsequent period of depression and living at the Ealing YMCA, he started going to gay and trans clubs and was told how great it was to be a woman. He applied through his doctor to be evaluated by the Gender Identity Clinic at the Charing Cross Hospital. However the wait would be over a year, and if he were to become a woman he needed money.

Through his old contacts he was able to get restarted as a property refurbisher. In the course of that work he met an Israeli divorcee, and they became both business partners and spouses. However that was short lived, and a second divorce ensued.

He then contacted Dr Russell Reid and was accepted as a private transsexual patient.
"First of all, I thought I would do my nose to make it look more feminine. I had eye correction surgery to get rid of my glasses. Then I did my teeth to give me a better smile and I had electrolysis all round my face to remove the masculine beard. I had my Adam's apple removed and my vocal chords tightened. I had breast implants, all before the sex change surgery to remodel my genitalia".
Six months after first seeing Dr Reid, in December 1997 Samantha Kane had genital surgery with Michael Royle. She spent over £100,000 in total on her transition.

She had not seen her family for 10 years. She contacted them and, because of the situation in Iraq, they arranged to meet in Amman, Jordan. They did not know about her change until they actually met at Amman airport, but they did accept her.

Samantha wrote an autobiography, A Two-Tiered Existence, when she was trying to launch a football magazine to take advantage of the 1998 World Cup. She was even considered as chief executive at Sheffield United FC because of the possibility that she could attract supporters in Asia and the Middle East who would watch on subscription television. She built a new career in interior design, and lived an expensive life in London and Spain.

Within four years he regretted the mistake, as he missed being one of the boys talking football, business and girls.
"In fact, I found being a woman rather shallow and limiting. So much depends on your appearance, at the expense of everything else. I wasn't interested in shopping. My female friends would spend hours shopping for clothes, trying on different outfits. But having been a man I knew exactly what would suit me and appeal to men. I could walk into a shop and be out again in five minutes with the right dress. Nor have I ever been interested in celebrity magazines or the things that interest other women, but when I tried to talk to men about blokey things they didn't take me seriously.”
In 2004, after the collapse of her engagement to a wealthy landowner when it became apparent that he did not regard her as a ‘real’ woman, Kane decided that it had been a mistake, and as Charles Kane reverted to male. He complained, at the time that the Gender Recognition Bill was going through Parliament, to the General Medical Council that Russell Reid had been too easy in accepting him. Charles was referred to the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic, and as a private patient spent a further £25,000 on breast removal and phalloplasty.
"After what I've been through, I now think that sex-change operations shouldn't be allowed. They should be banned. We live today in a consumerist society where we all believe we can have everything we want, but too much choice can be a dangerous thing."

However when Russell Reid was found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council, Kane was quoted in the Guardian: 

"I think generally he [Dr Reid] is a kind-hearted doctor and he didn't really mean to be malicious to the patient. Most of the patients came here to support him because of this quality in him. He is a caring, almost father-figure."

Charles prospered again in the property market, and by 2010 was living in a £2.6 million property in west London, and had recently announced his engagement to a 28-year-old woman, Victoria. His son, then 25, reconciled with his father. Charles  completed a novel, and was seeking funding for a
documentary on the “the Sex Change Delusion”.
“In many ways I see myself a victim of the medical profession. Even with the glamour of Samantha Kane and the £100,000 I spent on myself, I had people shouting abuse at me and builders throwing stones at me from rooftops.”
Charles was featured in 2004 in “Make me a man again” in the BBC documentary series One Life directed by Todd Austin.  A reviewer in the Guardian wrote: 
“Austin’s film managed to make Charles a likeable creature and by the end I was rooting for him. Austin allowed Charles the dignity of privacy and that, in TV-land, is a rare and precious commodity.”

In 2011 the US ABC’s Primetime Nightline featured teenaged trans kids, and as ‘balance’ Charles Kane who never was a trans kid, and who objected to children being given gender assertive therapy. 

In March 2017, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Kane announced a return to being a woman, and a change of name to Sam Kane,
"The reversal operation did not return me to the man I once was, just an approximation.  With the exception of Victoria, I was rejected by both men and women. The original surgery was effectively irreversible. You can’t turn back into a man because whatever defines the male has been completely removed, so how can you bring it back?
‘I discovered to my detriment that there is only so far medical science can go.  As Charles, I still sometimes wanted to wear a blouse or a pretty ring, and wear my hair long.  Having become Samantha, I should have stayed Samantha. When I told Victoria how I was feeling, it effectively ended the relationship.  She said she preferred men and did not want to live with a woman, but we are still friends."

In 2018 she published the novel that she had been working on.  Called Mohammed and Susan, the plot is: 

Susan Green is an Iraqi British architect and the only witness to a fatal accident on a building site in West London. A suspicious police detective discovers a book written by Susan, revealing huge secrets about her life and narrating a story of love, taboos, desire and murder.”

By 2022 Samantha had a considerable property portfolio in London.  She spotted an article about the sale of Carbisdale Castle in Ayrshire.  This intrigued her: "So I took a last-minute flight to Inverness and made my first trip to that far north in the Highlands”.  The castle had been built during the first world war for Mary Caroline, Duchess of Sutherland.  In 1933 it was purchased by a Scots-Norwegian millionaire, and in 1945 it was donated to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association. By the 2010s it needed extensive renovations, and the SYHA attempted to sell it in 2014 because of the cost.  It was purchased by a corporation in 2016, but their plans fell through, and they sold it to Samantha Kane.  She is using her London property portfolio to finance further renovations, and is now known as Lady Carbisdale.

*Not the romance novelist, Samantha Kane, nor Charles Kane the protagonist in Citizen Kane, 1941, nor the character in Tomb Raider, nor the boxer, nor the President of One Laptop Per Child.
  • Samantha Kane edited by Sarah Harding. Two-Tiered Existence. London: Writers and Artists. 130 pp. 1998. Review.
  • Jack O’Sullivan. “Cold Call: Jack O'Sullivan rings Samantha Kane”. The Guardian, 24 Oct 1998. Online.
  • Todd Austin (dir) One Life: Make me a Man Again. UK BBC1 19 Oct 2004.
  • David Batty. “Sex-change patient complains to GMC “. The Guardian, 18 Feb 2004. Online.
  • Helen Weathers. “A British tycoon and father of two has been a man and a woman ... and a man again ... and knows which sex he'd rather be”. Daily Mail, June 14, 2008. Online.
  • Helen Weathers. “A VERY peculiar engagement: Charles had a sex change - then hated being Samantha so became a man again. Now he's getting married. So is his fiancée barmy, brave... or just in love?”. Daily Mail, 7th Dec 2010. Online
  • "My (Extra) Ordinary Family: My Kid is Transgender".  Primetime Nightline. US ABC 6 August 31, 2011.  Review.
  • Helen Weathers.  "The top London lawyer who's changed gender THREE times: Extraordinary tale of transgender career woman, 57, who's spent more than £100,000 switching sex - and why she believes life's easier for men than women".  The Daily Mail, 21 March 2017.   Online.
  • Samantha Kane.  Mohammed and Susan.  Diversity Books, 2018. Blurb.
  • Helen Weathers. “Samantha changed gender three times and is 'happier than ever' in her new Highland castle home”. The Daily Mail, 3 Oct 2022.  Online.
  • Lara Wildenberg. “Dream comes true for castle’s new lady”.  The Times, October 05 2022.  Online
  • Steven McKenzie. 'I booked a last-minute flight and bought a castle'.  BBC News, 26 Aug 2023.  Online

I also had the surgery only six months after first meeting Russell Reid, but unlike
Hashimi/Kane I had by that point been on female hormones for some years, was living full-time as female and working as female.

Why is it that many of those who change back, then feel that they want to ban the operation for everyone?


  1. I find myself rather angry with Kane. His very public unwillingness to accept responsibility for his transition and detransition is fodder for the transphobes in the medical and political communities who are able to make good use of his opposition to transsexuals transitioning. As all too often happens, one bad apple carries more import in the public eye than a hundred good ones.

  2. Anonymous20/5/17 03:17

    Absolutely agree. He complains here of living in a consumer society but does an awful lot of consuming. It's all about his wants and little to do with the needs of family. It's as much a cautionary tale about consumerism and materialism as transgenderism.

    Now he wants GRS made illegal, because it didn't work for him. Spoiled little rich kid?

  3. 31st august 2018
    wonder how Russell Reid feels after being sued in 2004 and referred to GMC for allegedly getting the diagnosis wrong.

  4. Why bring Russell Reid into this? Kane wanted to transition, and Reid provided good support and service. Be careful what you ask for is good advice - but do not blame those who supply your requests. We are responsible for own lives.

  5. I brought Russell in because this person pretty well cost him his practice

  6. Kane's legal suit alone would not have impacted Russell. It was the backstabbing by several fellow doctors that mattered.

  7. quite right, but I think this provided Charing X mob with the biggest excuse to knife Russell.


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