Football love rat was asked for £100,000 by Welsh model.
The Premier League star who had an affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas has claimed the Welsh model blackmailed him for £100,000.
At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Eady said there was “ample reason not to trust” Ms Thomas over her dealings with the footballer.
The judge pointed to evidence that “appeared strongly to suggest that the claimant [the anonymous footballer] was being blackmailed”.
Ms Thomas denies all the allegations against her and says she is angry that her reputation is being tarnished while he is given anonymity.
The footballer, who cannot be named, said Imogen Thomas had told him she “needed” the money and was being tracked by journalists.
He said he had reluctantly met the Welsh reality contestant at two different hotels to discuss the money, but began to “smell a rat” and feared he had been set up.
Details of the reasons behind the super-injunction banning the naming of the footballer, who is married with children, emerged at the High Court yesterday.
In his witness statement to the court, the footballer said Miss Thomas had contacted him in March this year “which led him to conclude that she was at that stage thinking of selling her story, such as it was”.
She asked the sportsman for £50,000, the court heard.
According to the footballer, they met for no more than 30 minutes and he gave her a signed football shirt, but refused to pay the money.
Mr Justice Eady said Ms Thomas then asked to meet him again a few days later in another hotel, and he gave her some football tickets.
In his judgement, the judge said: “It now seems that the claimant may well have been ‘set up’ so that photographs could be taken of Ms Thomas going to one or other, or both, of the hotels.
On April 12, the footballer contacted Ms Thomas to say he did not want any further contact, but then changed his mind and offered her some money ‘after all’, the court was told.
“By this time, however, she made it clear that she was looking for £100,000. She later texted him to say that there was a journalist outside her house.
“The evidence before the court at that point, therefore, appeared strongly to suggest that the claimant was being blackmailed (although that is not how he put it himself).
Ms Thomas, who was at court and has always denied trying to sell her story about the alleged affair, said she was ‘stunned’ by the judge’s ruling.
“I have read the judgement and I am stunned by how I am portrayed,” she said.
“Again, my name and reputation are being trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide.
“What is more, I cannot even defend myself because I have been gagged. Where is the fairness in this? What about my reputation?
“If this is the way privacy injunctions are supposed to work, then there is something seriously wrong with the law.”