Tommy Sheridan trial hears 'kinky fling cash' claim

  • Published
Anvar Khan
Image caption,
Ms Khan claims to have visited a swingers' club with Mr Sheridan

A former News of the World columnist has told a court she did not try to make money from claims she had a "kinky fling" with a married MSP.

Anvar Khan told the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow that she never benefited from the story or received any payment.

Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail, both 46, are accused of perjury.

They deny lying at his successful defamation case against the News of the World in 2006.

The former Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) leader won £200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed allegations about his private life, claiming he was an adulterer who had visited a swingers club.

Following a police investigation, Mr Sheridan and his wife were charged with perjury.

In previous evidence, Ms Khan told the court she had sex with the former MSP on several occasions and visited Cupid's swingers' club in Manchester with him in 2002.

During his cross-examination of Ms Khan, Mr Sheridan, who is representing himself, accused her of giving "untrue" evidence in court over claims she had a "kinky fling" with a married politician.

The former SSP leader pointed to a column printed in the News of the World.

Its opening paragraph, read to the jury, stated that Ms Khan has "told how she had a kinky fling with a married Scots politician".

Mr Sheridan put it to her: "That simply wasn't true, was it?"

Ms Khan replied: "In what way, sorry? My evidence has been about yourself during the libel trial and today."

Sheridan went on: "Your evidence is untrue. You haven't had a kinky fling with a Scots married politician if you're trying to identify that politician as being me."

Ms Khan replied that she did not understand the question and later insisted: "It's actually true."

She also told the trial that she never benefited from that story or received any financial payment.

Mr Sheridan said: "You were told you'd double your money if you helped your friend Bob Bird (then Scottish editor of The News of the World)?"

Image caption,
Mr Sheridan is representing himself in court

Ms Khan replied: "No, that's not true."

The court was then shown e-mails between Ms Kahn and Mr Bird, in which he said she could double her "dosh" with just one phone call.

It was suggested that she call Sheridan and obtain a taped confession that he had attended a swingers' club in Manchester.

That call was never made, but Mr Sheridan accused Ms Khan of lying in court about the visit to Cupids to secure her contract.

The court also heard how Ms Khan won a £16,000 settlement after bringing a legal action against the News of the World.

The journalist told the trial how she and the newspaper were "not friends".

Ms Khan said she "took out litigation" against the News of the World after her contract was not renewed in 2008.

"It was settled in my favour," she told the court.

"I have to say clearly to the court that News International and I are not friends."

Asked about the figure that was agreed, Ms Khan said: "We settled on a sum of £16,000. That was with the threat of a tribunal."

New contract

Mr Sheridan asked Ms Khan if she had sought to gain a new contract with the News of the World if she co-operated with the paper's lawyers prior to the 2006 defamation case. She denied this.

The jury was shown a letter from Bob Bird to Ms Khan offering her a new 12 month deal on 20 June 2006.

The columnist then replied to the editor in an email the following day.

Asking to re-negotiate, she adds: "If I am happy with my new contract, I am prepared to re-think my position regarding talking to your QC."

Referring to this, Mr Sheridan asked: "You have been caught lying, have you not, Anvar?"

She replied: "No."

Ms Khan claimed she had been advised by the National Union of Journalists to "be seen to be co-operating" with the newspaper.

Mr Sheridan said she had been "exposed as a liar" and had used a contract as a "weapon".

He went on: "The fact is you have constantly lied these past two days. You are a hostile witness determined to inflict hurt with these lies.

"You think you are above prosecution because of the association with the News of the World.

"You think you are immune from prosecution."

Truth 'nuisance'

Miss Khan answered: "No."

The former MSP said: "Not the case to you and your News of the World friends that the truth is just a nuisance that gets in the way of a good story?"

The witness again denied his accusation.

It is alleged that Mr Sheridan made false statements as a witness in his defamation action against the News of the World on 21 July 2006.

He also denies another charge of attempting to persuade a witness to commit perjury shortly before the 23-day legal action got under way.

Mrs Sheridan denies making false statements on 31 July 2006, after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The trial, before Lord Bracadale, continues.

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