Ryan Giggs finally lifts Imogen Thomas ‘affair’ gag

Updated: Feb 22, 2012, 10:53 AM IST

London: Ryan Giggs has finally given up all rights to anonymity in the High Court over his alleged affair with Imogen Thomas.

Last December the footballer had settled his action against the 29-year-old glamour model when he admitted she had not tried to blackmail him.

The Manchester United left winger has always been identified in court only by the initials CTB but was outed in Parliament and on Twitter.

However, his counsel Hugh Tomlinson QC has now told Justice Tugendhat that Giggs is willing to remove the anonymity.

“He has consented to the removal of the anonymity,” a daily quoted Tomlinson QC as saying.

Giggs, who even had an eight-year illicit affair with his sister-in-law Natasha, must now wait to find out if he can pursue his case against News Group Newspapers for damages against the “distress” caused when they first published details of his affair in April last year.

He also wants a permanent injunction preventing them from using any more private information about him.

The judge reserved his ruling on whether the action can continue after it was revealed his solicitors Schillings had failed to comply with orders of the court to keep the action alive and have it listed, and it had already technically been struck out.

Tomlinson claimed it was a “silly and unfortunate error” to which no moral blame could be attached and should not result in 38-year-old Giggs being deprived of his right to continue and seek damages and an injunction protecting his privacy rights.

It was back in April last year that Giggs first won a gagging order against the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ star and the newspaper.

Richard Spearman QC for NGN said an order lifting anonymity was made on February 1st but that Giggs had continued to insist on not being named.

Last May he was named in the House of Commons by MP John Hemming, which had the effect of allowing the footballer to be identified as statements in parliament have privilege.