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Big mouth Clarkson tried to gag ex-wife over sex claims after he remarried

TOP Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has abandoned an injunction to prevent allegations that he's a love cheat.

The gagging order banned the publication of a claim by his first wife Alexandra Hall that they had an affair after he married his current wife Frances.

The BBC star, who took out the injunction last autumn, decided to lift it because it was "pointless" and "injunctions don't work".

It is claimed that the order banned the media from reporting "sexual or other intimate acts or dealings" between Clarkson and his first wife as well as the Top Gear presenter's "private thoughts and feelings, his health and other financial affairs".

Clarkson, (51) said his ex-wife was now free to tell her story, adding that "people can either believe it or not, it's up to them".



Nuclear

Clarkson denies Mrs Hall's claims that they had a sexual relationship after their separation.

He married Mrs Hall in 1989, but the marriage quickly failed and in 1993 he married Frances, who was his manager at the time. They have three children.

Explaining why he chose to unmask himself, Clarkson said: "One, most importantly, injunctions don't work.

"You take out an injunction against somebody or some organisation and immediately news of that injunction and the people involved and the story behind the injunction is in a legal-free world on Twitter and the internet. It's pointless.

"Secondly, you used to be able to take out an injunction and then just sit on it. But as a result of a recent court case you are now ultimately forced by the courts to go to trial -- which is unbelievably expensive.

"If you win, news leaks out on the internet. If you lose, you then get raped by your opponent's legal fees."

Clarkson went on to say he regretted taking out the injunction, adding: "There is also an assumption of guilt which goes hand in hand with an injunction."

The broadcaster is said to be spending the rest of the week 300 metres under the ocean on a nuclear submarine.

"My wife and I decided to let it go. My ex-wife is now free to tell her story and people can either believe it or not, it's up to them.

"I will be on a nuclear submarine," he said.

Max Clifford, who is representing Ms Hall, said: "She is delighted that the injunction has been withdrawn. She wants the whole truth to come out and she feels that a large black cloud that has been hanging over her for the last year has been lifted."



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Clarkson rose to fame presenting the original format of Top Gear in 1988. He has a reputation for being outspoken, frequently riding roughshod over climate concerns, safety rules and political correctness at all levels of society.

Several high-profile figures have taken out injunctions this year, including Chelsea and England footballer John Terry. His super-injunction preventing the reporting of an alleged affair was overturned after the judge decided Terry's primary concern had been to protect his reputation with his commercial sponsors.

Law professor Gavin Phillipson said: "What this shows is just how difficult it is to maintain the confidentiality of information in the age of Twitter and other websites based abroad.

"Other high-profile figures including Ryan Giggs have found that the courts cannot prevent personal information becoming public knowledge through the internet." In May, Giggs was unmasked over his affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.

hnews@herald.ie