Journalist 'recorded sex life in notebook'

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The Independent Online
A JOURNALIST'S evidence to a libel jury that she had no interest in sex was put to the test yesterday when a QC accused her of perjury and produced a notebook in which she had written details of a passionate love affair.

Jani Allan, 41, a South African, who is suing Channel 4 over a television programme she says suggested she had an affair with the neo-Nazi leader Eugene Terre- Blanche, insisted that her sexually graphic notebook entries about an Italian airline pilot named Ricardo were 'fantasy'.

'I was in a traumatic state and I wrote down my worst fears and probably my worst desires,' she told the High Court in London. 'It was a way of dealing with my sexual problems.'

Miss Allan has told Mr Justice Potts and the jury that she was 'horrified, appalled and nauseated' by references in the programme to her having an affair with Mr Terre-Blanche, leader of South Africa's extreme right wing AWB party.

George Carman QC, for Channel 4, suggested that, while still married, she had a passionate sexual affair with Ricardo.

She denied that an event described in her notebook, in which she and made love to Ricardo in a hotel, had ever happened.

She said her description in the notebook of how they drank champagne on the beach and later Ricardo proposed to her at an airshow was of events that never happened.

In other entries she wrote: 'On the way home he cried. I stayed the night and it was heaven', and: 'We were stoned. We made love twice. It was freaky.'

She said: 'This notebook is deeply embarrassing. I wrote it when I was under psychiatric care.'

Miss Allan told the court she had received a phone call during the lunchtime adjournment warning that if she continued with the trial her life would be in danger.

Mr Carman suggested that, since coming to England in 1989, she had made more money out of libel actions than from any other source. Miss Allan agreed she had received about pounds 20,000 plus costs, from Options magazine after it reported her alleged affair. Another pounds 15,000 to pounds 20,000 tax free had come from the Evening Standard. She had issued writs against the Daily Mail and Sunday Telegraph which were still pending.

Mr Carman said: 'If you win this, and win the other two, libel is going to prove a very fruitful source of income for you?'

Miss Allan replied that she had written a book about South Africa, and for that to be taken seriously she had to clear her name.

Mr Carman said he would be suggesting today that she fell for Mr Terre-Blanche deeply and passionately in 1988 as she had for Ricardo in 1984.

Miss Allan told him: 'We will dispute that tomorrow, thank you.'

Mr Carman suggested: 'You have lied about your sexual relationship because it is easy to lie - because you think that way is the way to obtain more damages.'

She replied: 'Whatever award is given for libel, being cross-examined by you would not make it enough money.'

Miss Allan, who now lives at Hampton Court, Surrey, is suing Channel 4 over the film The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife, which she claims portrayed her as a 'lady of easy virtue'.

Channel 4 says it never suggested an affair and argues that such an allegation would be justified because Miss Allan did have an adulterous relationship with Mr Terre-Blanche, a married man.

The hearing continues today.