New twist in curious affair of the footballer, the model and the High Court judge

If Giggs had not taken out a super-injunction no one would have known about his off-field activities

This time, Imogen Thomas chose not to appear en deshabille. Neither was she pouting or breathlessly revealing whether she and her former lover had explored every inch of each other's bodies. There is to be no kiss and tell.

The Welsh glamour model sat in the High Court yesterday before one of Britain's most po-faced judges, Mr Justice Eady, as her lawyer delivered a statement saying that she had reconciled her differences with the married footballer who – according to a still existing privacy injunction – should be referred to only by the letters "CTB".

That injunction – imposed by Mr Justice Eady himself in April – has become the subject of legal farce. CTB has become known as the Manchester United star Ryan Giggs, and for weeks after the granting of the order, Twitter reverberated with tweets paraphrasing Paul Whitehouse's Ron Manager from the BBC's The Fast Show: "Giggsy isn't it? Mmm, Giggsy-wiggsy?"

The injunction became even more meaningless at the end of May when the Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming identified the footballer in the House of Commons using parliamentary privilege.

But even for a Big Brother contestant the story has been damaging. Ms Thomas, 28, was identified in The Sun's original article "Footie Star's Affair with Big Brother's Imogen Thomas" and, in his reasons for granting the injunction, Mr Justice Eady said the footballer's evidence suggested he was being blackmailed. The model became characterised as a ruthless gold-digger.

But Mr Giggs, 38, now acknowledges that Ms Thomas had no intention of blackmailing him and was not trying to sell her story. In a statement, she said: "To suddenly have to defend my character, because of this legal process, has been extremely upsetting and stressful. I'm just relieved the parties and the court now accept that I'm no blackmailer. I have been vindicated and that's all I wanted." Ms Thomas has been an inveterate publicity-seeker and admitted this week: "I used to crave the press attention and played the media to my advantage, creating lots of opportunities for myself within TV and modelling."

But in court yesterday, her lawyer David Price, QC, made an open statement on behalf of his client in which he said it was never the model's intention for the affair to be made public.

"The Sun has now made it clear that Ms Thomas was not responsible for the article," he said. "CTB accepts this and also accepts that Ms Thomas did not wish any private information to be published." He said it "remains her position" that she would not talk about her relationship with Mr Giggs. It is believed to be a legal first for a defendant, rather than a claimant, to be given the opportunity to make an open statement in court about such a case.

Mr Justice Eady told the court he could see little remaining value in the gagging order, though it remains in place. The Sun, the co-defendant in the injunction, appears to have no prospect of persuading Ms Thomas to talk.

It is understood the defunct News of the World had taken photographs of Ms Thomas leaving various hotels early this year, when The Sun became aware of the story and challenged the couple. Mr Giggs was told that Ms Thomas had engaged the services of Max Clifford and, fearing a kiss-and-tell exposé, instructed media lawyer Schillings, which sought an injunction.

But Mr Price told the court that his client "had retained Max Clifford to try to prevent a story coming out". The PR man confirmed this and claimed The Sun did not have sufficient information to identify the footballer. "If Ryan Giggs hadn't taken out a super-injunction no one would know about his off-the-field activities," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...