A wealthy businessman who claimed he was being blackmailed after his Russian mistress became pregnant with twins has lost his bid to keep the matter secret.
The man, who is a ‘director of substantial companies’, had wanted to avoid his wife and grown up children finding out, as it would have destroyed his relationship with them.
He submitted a statement to the court that said: “My world and that of my wife and my children, would be shattered if they knew, and my relationships with them would be destroyed … I am certain my children would be devastated and would not speak to me if they were given this information”.
Blackmailed for £150,000
He told the court that he was being blackmailed by a man from Eastern Europe was demanding £150,000 in exchange for intimate photo and videos that exposed his relationship with his mistress.
The man refused to pay and went to the police, but was told there was no guarantee his name would remain secret if he made a complaint.
The Judge accepted that the man and his mistress were being harassed but said that they could not use the law to keep their affair secret because the blackmailers had a right to freedom of expression despite their ‘unwarranted demands’.
The family needed to know
The Judge also said that the information was too important to keep secret. The family of the businessman, who was in his seventies, would need to know because it could affect their inheritance.
The businessman had also claimed that the information could harmful the health of his wife. However, the Judge said that courts always had to be sceptical when people claim their partners of unaware of their affairs. They also question whether the wellbeing of the partner is the true motivation for wanting to hide an affair.
He seemed to be acting in his own interest
The Judge wasn’t convinced the businessman’s concerns for his wife were genuine. He said: “Claimants have a tendency to confuse the interests of their wives and partners with their own interests.”
The Judge said that children being born and discussions about who is in a relationship with who are normal parts of life and there was no reason for the court to prevent that freedom of expression.