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Anorak | Imogen Thomas Slept With Star Footballer For Signed Shirt And Tickets? Fans Approve

Imogen Thomas Slept With Star Footballer For Signed Shirt And Tickets? Fans Approve

by | 16th, May 2011

IMOGEN Thomas and the Sun have failed in their bid to overturn the injunction protecting the name of the married footballer she claims she was shagging. She says the affair lasted six months. He says he met her three times.

Says she:

“Yet again my name and reputation have been trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide. What’s more I can’t even defend myself because I have been gagged. If this is the way privacy injunctions are supposed to work there is something seriously wrong with the law.”

No, not moral laws about adultery and stuff like that; Imogen refers to secular laws. She adds:

“I have read the judgment and I am stunned by how I am portrayed.”

And how was she portrayed? Was she presented as being totally innocent? Well, no. Mr Justice Eady said the Sun’s report of her shagging “was attributed to her ‘pals’ and probably written with her consent”.

Probably is a fact? Thomas had, however, hired the service of the publicist Max Clifford. The judge added – and this is glorious stuff:

The [footballer’s] witness statement was to the effect that Ms Thomas had made contact with him by various text messages in March, which led him to conclude that she was at that stage thinking of selling her story, such as it was, said Justice Eady. She told him by this means that she wanted, or ‘needed‘, a payment from him of £50,000.”

Some irony there given that:

Thomas, a former Miss Wales, complained last month that she had had no intention of revealing the affair but, unlike the footballer, “didn’t have £50,000 to get an injunction”.

With 5ok she could get her own injunction and prevent anyone saying they have slept with her. But she never got it. The story goes that when the footballer said he might be able to raise some funds, Thomas asked for £100,000. She told him that there was a journalist outside her house.

These are the court notes:

# The Claimant’s witness statement was to the effect that Ms Thomas had made contact with him by various text messages in March, which led him to conclude that she was at that stage thinking of selling her story, such as it was. She told him by this means that she wanted, or “needed”, a payment from him of £50,000. It was against this background that he agreed (he says with some reluctance) to meet her in a hotel where he was staying in early April of this year in order to discuss her demands. Although he had no wish to meet, he eventually agreed because he was concerned that she would go to the newspapers if he refused. On that occasion, which was according to his evidence only the fourth time they had met, they were together for no more than 30 minutes. She had asked him to provide her with a signed football shirt, which he did, but he told her that he was not prepared to pay her the sum of £50,000.

# The next development was that she asked to see him again, in a different hotel, a few days later (where he was also staying). He agreed with reluctance and on this occasion, as she had requested, provided her with some football tickets.

# It now seems that the Claimant may well have been “set up” so that photographs could be taken of Ms Thomas going to one or other, or both, of the hotels. Although the position is not yet by any means clear, the evidence before me on 14 April appeared to suggest that Ms Thomas had arranged the hotel rendezvous in collaboration with photographers and/or journalists. He first began to “smell a rat” when she told him at the first April meeting, perhaps feigning innocence, that she had been followed and recognised when she visited the first hotel.

# On 12 April, the Claimant sent Ms Thomas a message to say that he did not want any further contact with her. Then, in something of a quandary, he thought better of it and sent her a further message the following day. This was to convey to her that he might be willing to pay her some money after all. By this time, however, she made it clear that she was looking for £100,000. She later texted him to say that there was a journalist outside her house.

# The evidence before the court at that point, therefore, appeared strongly to suggest that the Claimant was being blackmailed (although that is not how he put it himself). I hasten to add, as is obvious, that I cannot come to any final conclusion about it at this stage. I have to make an assessment of the situation on the limited (and untested) evidence as it now stands. (That is what is required by s.12(3) of the Human Rights Act, to which I shall return shortly.)

# Ms Thomas made contact with the Claimant again on 13 April and asked him to call her. When he spoke to her, he formed the impression that she had someone with her – probably a journalist. At all events, she told him that The Sun was thinking of publishing a story to the effect that they had had an affair for some six months and that this account would be supported by photographs of her at or near the hotels where the April visits had taken place. She did not give any indication that she herself was in any way responsible for this. It is hardly likely that she would have done so, of course, if she was still hoping to extract money from the Claimant. It seems, nevertheless, that The Sun was ready to take advantage of these prearranged meetings in order to be able to put forward the claim that it was The Sun which had found him “romping with a busty Big Brother babe”. This was no doubt to give the impression, which Ms Thomas herself may have fostered, that a sexual liaison between them was still continuing at the time of the two hotel rendezvous in April.

# Shortly afterwards, still apparently seeking to absolve herself from any responsibility for the newspaper coverage, Ms Thomas sent a message to the Claimant to the effect that one of his friends must have tipped off the newspaper. According to his account, the Claimant knew this to be untrue, since he had never mentioned her to anyone.

# The evidence before the court at that stage, therefore, appeared to indicate, rightly or wrongly, that Ms Thomas had arranged for photographs to be taken, having already agreed a payment or payments from the newspaper. Despite that, she was still requesting £100,000 from the Claimant. This was the background against which I had decided that there was ample reason not to trust Ms Thomas. It seemed reasonable, in those circumstances, that the Claimant and his advisers should be excused the need to serve her in advance of the 14 April hearing.

Outside court Thomas said, in a statement:

“I’ve read the judgment and am stunned by how I’m portrayed. Yet again, my name and my reputation are being trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide. What’s more, I can’t even defend myself because I’ve been gagged. Where’s the fairness in this? What about my reputation? If this is the way privacy injunctions are supposed to work, then there’s something seriously wrong with the law.”

It’s not all bad for Thomas. She has achieved a fame as a femme fatale who is able to seduce a solid family man. The porn mags will call her, certainly. But what about privacy laws?

[Eady] says he must determine whether there is a public interest in naming the footballer, and concludes “as in so many ‘kiss and tell’ cases it seems to me that the answer … is not far to seek. Indeed, it was not even argued that publication would serve the public interest”. That looks like a green light for anybody trying to suppress a kiss and tell to try their luck in the courts; at the rate, now, of one or two injunctions a week, Eady expects to be a busy man.

Which all makes us wonder: if, say, a good time girl was shagging a married judge, would the story be banned because, in the opinion of judges, it is not newsworthy? And does the judge realise that you can look up the matter on the web and find out more than the law permits..?

Here’s Imogen’s career to date:

6_imogen_thomas



Posted: 16th, May 2011 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comments (8) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink