18:45, December 20 331 0 theguardian.com

2017-12-20 18:45:05
UK lottery winner granted interim order to stop book about affair

A man who won £41m on the lottery with his wife has been granted an interim order stopping the publication of a book by a woman with whom he had an affair.

Donna Desporte’s book Google Me - No Lies purports to tell the story of her relationship with Gareth Bull, a former bricklayer.

But Bull, 46, is seeking to prevent details of their relationship being exposed, on the basis that they are private and confidential.

His lawyer, Jacob Dean, argued at the high court in London on Wednesday that the fact that his client had had a lover should not make him subject to public disclosure.

“My client is not a public figure, he’s not someone who’s ever presented or identified as never being deceptive to former partners,” he told the court.

In response, Desporte, 48, claimed Bull was trying to restrict her right to freedom of speech.

Ahead of a full hearing, the judge, Patrick Maloney QC, ruled that the information in dispute could not be published because, in his opinion, the odds of Bull succeeding were high.

“It does appear to me, looking ahead, that the arguments in favour of the claimant’s case are stronger than the arguments in favour of the defendant’s case,” he said.

The ebook was published at least a month ago and the paperback at least two weeks ago. Its title is a reference to what Desporte claims Bull said to her – “Google me” – when she first met him and questioned his boast that he was a lottery winner.

It is billed as: “The true incredible heartbreaking amazing story of a survivor featuring the relationship with £41m lottery millionaire Gareth Bull.”

Desporte, who runs a bar in Tenerife, went public with details of their relationship in June. Dean said his client was not seeking to prevent the fact of the existence of the affair being publicised but was trying to prevent publication of four categories of information he says are private: details of their sexual activity; statements about his relationship with his wife; statements about his children (one aged under 18, and one who is 16); and statements made to her about his physical health.

Opposing the interim order, Desporte, representing herself, told the court the detail was necessary to expose Bull’s “deception”.

“It’s a way of processing and dealing with the situation. What should I be restrained from expressing, talking about myself ... Under article 10 [of the European convention on human rights, relating to freedom of expression], I have done nothing wrong.”

She also claimed in court that she had signed over the rights for the book and no longer had control over its continued publication.

Bull, a father of two, scooped the Euromillions jackpot in 2012. He has a house in Tenerife and, according to Desporte, who moved from the UK to the Spanish island four years ago, they met at her bar, The Village.

She told the Mirror in June that he took her to watch one of Anthony Joshua’s world title boxing fights, to the Bafta awards and expensive hotels before the relationship ended.

Maloney denied Desporte leave to appeal against the interim order, but she has 21 days to appeal directly to the court of appeal.