Jeremy Clarkson's ex-wife said it was "terrifying" when she discovered the Top Gear star had taken out an injunction to stop her writing about their relationship.
Alex Hall said she only discovered what he had done when she got a late-night text message telling her to check her email which contained a message with the 20-page injunction.
Giving evidence to the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions, Ms Hall said her marriage to Clarkson ended before he was famous but she "maintained a relationship" with him.
She told the committee of MPs and peers that she had planned to write a book about the effects of having a relationship with a celebrity and told Clarkson what she was going to do.
She said: "About a week later there was an injunction on me. He said, 'I won't have anyone write anything about me'."
Ms Hall said: "I had no idea about what to do with this injunction, it was just terrifying."
Clarkson later withdrew the injunction which he described as "pointless", but Ms Hall said she had only been given two or three days notice of his intention and her ex-husband had been "hugely cavalier" in his behaviour.
She said one of her children had to leave their job and another took two weeks off school to avoid the publicity.
Ms Hall said she was not going to publish "salacious details" about the couple's relationship, but wanted to write "a witty self-help book".
She said: "He was very worried about his relationship with his current wife, given I still had an association with him, which she probably did not know about."