Boast by soap actress 'may be her epitaph'

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AN EPITAPH for the EastEnders actress Gillian Taylforth might be 'I give good head', George Carman QC, told the High Court yesterday.

In his closing speech for the Sun, which is fighting a libel claim brought by Miss Taylforth and her fiance, Geoff Knights, over an allegation of a public sex romp, Mr Carman referred to the video of a party in which she was seen simulating sex acts with a large sausage and a wine bottle.

'It may be that the unfortunate words of Gillian Taylforth 'I give good head' - uttered no doubt in jest on a film which she never thought would see the light of day - may summarise what happened that evening and may be her epitaph. I don't know. But the truth of this case is that this was a foolish jape, probably a dare from one partner to another when they had both had a significant amount to drink, which they thought would never be seen.'

Miss Taylforth, 38, who plays Kathy Beale in the BBC soap, and Mr Knights, 39, are suing the newspaper for repeating a police allegation that they had oral sex on the slip-road off the A1 in Hertfordshire after a day at Ascot races in June 1992. They claim that Mr Knights was feeling ill and that a police constable who saw them had misconstrued the situation. The Sun maintained its story was true. But if it was not, then it was the Metropolitan Police's fault as it had supplied the information.

Mr Carman said the side of Miss Taylforth that had been carefully concealed when she was in the witness box was revealed in the video. It showed 'a woman capable of coarseness in front of other people, in front of the camera when in drink . . . sexual coarseness of a kind some of us might not find particularly pleasing - and something she didn't seem to be ashamed about in any way'.

He added: 'The unpalatable truth of their case is that it is riddled with improbability heaped upon improbability . . . to the point of being frankly incredible.'.

The hearing continues today.