Ex-lover denies leaking Tulisa Contostavlos tape


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The Independent Online

A former boyfriend of singer and TV talent show judge Tulisa Contostavlos denies posting a sex tape showing the couple sharing an "intimate moment", a High Court judge was told today.

Justin Edwards thought the posting of such material "ungentlemanly" and said he had been "brought up better than that", Mr Justice Tugendhat heard.

Edwards said Contostavlos had "persuaded me that we should film ourselves" and "seemed to be implying" that filming took place on the singer's phone, the judge was told.

Contostavlos, 23 - who shot to fame as a member of hip hop group N-Dubz and is a judge on the X Factor talent show - took legal action against Edwards following the emergence of the footage.

She alleges that Edwards committed a "vindictive act of betrayal" out of spite and greed.

Detail of Edwards's defence to the allegations emerged at a preliminary High Court hearing in London.

Mr Justice Tugendhat said today that an order banning publication of footage showing Contostavlos "engaged in a sexual act" should continue. The order was made earlier this month after Contostavlos began legal proceedings.

Edwards, a rap artist who performs under the name MC Ultra, was at today's hearing. Contostavlos was not in court.

The judge was told that Contostavlos and Edwards had been in an "on and off relationship" which ended in late 2009.

Desmond Browne QC, for Contostavlos, gave detail of Edwards' denials to the judge and said there was "clearly a substantial issue to be resolved".

He told the court that Contostavlos and Edwards had been in a relationship over several years.

Edwards had outlined his defence in a written witness statement, said Mr Browne.

In the statement, Edwards said: "I regret ever allowing the claimant (Contostavlos) to persuade me that we should film ourselves", Mr Browne told the court.

He regarded the distribution of the footage as "ungentlemanly" and added: "I was brought up better than that", said Mr Browne.

Mr Browne told the judge that Edwards "seems to be implying filming took place on (Contostavlos's) phone".

He said Contostavlos thought that Edwards had shared footage and tried to sell it to newspapers.

"She has been the victim of a vindictive act of betrayal by Mr Edwards," Mr Browne told the judge.

"Seemingly motivated by a toxic combination of personal spite and financial greed."

Mr Browne said Contostavlos had outlined her feelings in an internet statement broadcast on YouTube on March 21.

"I am devastated, heartbroken, I have been in bits for the last few days," said Contostavlos, in the clip, which she also posted on Twitter.

"When you share an intimate moment with someone that you love, you care about and you trust, you never imagine for one minute that that footage may at any point be shared with the rest of the UK or the rest of the people around the world."

"As you can imagine, it's a pretty tough time for me, but I don't feel that I should be the one to take the heat for it, or the stick. This was something that he took upon himself to put online and he is now sitting in silence pretending that it's not him."

Mr Browne told the judge: "There is a clearly a substantial issue to be resolved in due course."

No date has been fixed for any trial.

The legal fight has developed as Contostavlos's first solo single is released. She announced the song's "first play" on her Twitter account on March 22.