Cuckoo Bird: Riddle of TV star paying out for love child who isn't his: Married man got injunction to keep affair quiet
13th October 2010
Household name: The man involved is a well known journalist who had the injunction granted in 2008
A married TV star who won a court order to hush up an affair has discovered the ‘love child’ he thought he had fathered is not his after all.
The man, a journalist and household name, learnt the startling truth following a DNA test, it was reported yesterday.
The dramatic twist comes after he spent years trying to keep details of his affair and the child a secret.
In 2008 the man was granted a draconian injunction after convincing a High Court judge that the public should not be allowed to learn of his infidelity.
At the time, he believed the child was the result of his relationship with his mistress.
After learning of her pregnancy, he confessed the affair to his wife, and agreed to make regular payments towards the child’s upbringing.
Under the terms of the injunction, neither the cheating man, nor his mistress – a successful writer – nor the child can be named.
Yesterday, after the surprise DNA news was reported, speculation grew over the identity of the child’s real father.
One name in the frame is a former Labour minister said to have forged a close working relationship with the writer.
The case is one of several in which famous people have used the courts to keep their love lives private. Two weeks ago, a married TV celebrity won a gagging order to prevent details of his private life being published.
A day earlier, a high-profile figure successfully argued it would be a breach of his human rights if the public was to discover he was cheating on his wife.
A succession of millionaire footballers have also relied on the courts to protect their private lives, although former England captain John Terry had to face the consequences when a judge dismissed his attempts to suppress details of his extra-marital affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend. The judge ruled the public had a right to know.
In this latest case, the injunction remains in force, despite the DNA development. The order prevents the media from reporting details, although anyone with access to the internet who types in the celebrity’s name will find plenty of speculation.
The man’s unmarried lover became pregnant after a brief affair some years ago. When the young woman’s solicitors pursued him, he agreed to support the child.
The personality, who has been married for many years and has children of his own, even offered to resign from his high-profile television role. But his employers refused to accept his offer, and his wife stood by him.
It is not known why the DNA test was carried out so many years down the line, but one suggestion was that the man had only recently met the child for the first time.
The question now is whether the man will continue to make payments towards the child’s upbringing.
He may also be in a position to demand money back from the years of previous payments, when he believed he was the father. Yesterday he was said to be ‘reviewing’ the situation.
In January, Chelsea and England footballer Terry was granted a super-injunction preventing reporting information about his affair with model Vanessa Perroncel, ex-girlfriend of fellow England player Wayne Bridge.
But that order – which even prevented reporting the existence of the order – was overturned after Mr Justice Tugendhat declared that the public had a right to criticise ‘socially harmful’ behaviour.
The judge decided Terry’s primary concern had been to protect his reputation with his commercial sponsors, rather than his privacy.