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Euromillions winner who scooped £41m jackpot wins privacy damages against ex-lover

Gareth Bull (pictured above) today won damages along with a permanent injunction restraining certain parts of the book 

A Euromillions winner who scooped £41 million has won privacy damages against his former lover who penned a tell-all book about their relationship.

Donna Desporte titled the book ‘Google me, no lies’ after the famous chat up line winner Gareth Bull had used on her when they first met at a bar.

Mr Bull won the jackpot on the Euromillions in 2012 and embarked on a nine-month relationship with Ms Desporte, while he was still married to Catherine Bull.

It had previously been revealed that Mrs Bull was made aware of the relationship after spotting the pair during TV coverage of an Anthony Joshua fight in 2017. 

The couple subsequently divorced in October that year. 

Ms Desporte, 50, who is from Bournemouth but now owns and runs a bar in Tenerife, had previously spoken about how she was ‘wounded’ when her relationship with bricklayer Mr Bull, who owns a £1.5m villa on the Balearic island, ended. 

Her book, which goes into detail about the former couple’s sexual relationship, was made available to the public as an e-book in November 2017 and subsequently in physical form.

Mr Bull went on to sue his ex, objecting that the contents of the book breached his privacy and that of his former wife and their children.

The title of the book comes from Ms Desporte’s claim that when she and Mr Bull, 47, first met, he wooed her in her bar with the chat up line: ‘I won the lottery, Google me.’

Donna Desporte

Gareth Bull and Donna

Ms Desporte (left) outside court today after a judge ruled that Mr Bull (right with Ms Desporte) would be granted an injunction 

At the High Court today, he won £12,255 in damages, along with a permanent injunction restraining publication of 36 specific passages from the book, along with four photographs which Mr Bull took ‘privately during their relationship’ and sent to Ms Desporte.

Mr Justice Julian Knowles said today that the exact contents of the 36 passages must be kept secret.

But he revealed that they deal with four categories of private information: ‘Details of the sexual relationship between Mr Bull and Ms Desporte…Mr Bull’s relationship with and divorce from his former wife Catherine Bull..Mr Bull’s children (and) the physical health of Mr Bull.’

Donna Desporte (left) and Mr Bull (right) met in a bar when he told her to 'Google him' to prove he had won the lottery

Donna Desporte (left) and Mr Bull (right) met in a bar when he told her to ‘Google him’ to prove he had won the lottery

During the hearing of the case Mr Bull’s lawyers described some of the contents of the book as ‘pornography’.

Mr Bull in his evidence to the court described how he had been ‘deeply embarrassed about the publication,’ adding that since it was made public: ‘I have been trying to avoid people as much as possible.’ 

Donna Desporte described relationship with Gareth Bull as ‘almost supernatural’

The judge today read out an extract of the book before awarded Mr Bull with over £12,000 of damages.

In the book Ms Desporte writes: ‘Gazing up at the sky, which was white with dust and sand from the Calima, there was something medicinal and calming about the off-white shade of colour which gave me comfort and strength. 

‘It was a far cry from the many nights of champagne and passion spent with Gareth Bull.

‘It was sometimes so difficult when I was forced by necessity to retrace my steps, past the five-star hotels and villas where there had been so much intensity and electricity between us.

‘This relationship was different, the emotional, spiritual and sexual connection between us was extraordinary almost supernatural!

‘His charms seemed to smash straight through my firewall!!’

The judge said: ‘He also sets out the adverse affects which the book’s publication has had for him personally in terms of his mental health’.

‘Overall, I consider that the publication of the information represents a serious infringement of Mr Bull’s (right to private and family life) and those of his ex-wife and children,’ the judge said.

‘That is by reason of the nature of the information in question and also the level of detail contained within the information,’ he added.

‘I find that even its limited publication to date has caused serious distress and harm to Mr Bull and at least one of his children,’ the judge said.

Ms Desporte had argued that she had a right to put over her side of what happened during the relationship in public and refute allegations she claims to have received that she was a ‘gold digger’.

But finding against her, the judge said: ‘There is no legally cognisable public interest in Ms Desporte writing about her sexual relationship with Mr Bull.

‘In order to establish such a public interest, Ms Desporte must rely on something other than the sexual behaviour of Mr Bull, albeit she claims that it took place in the course of a relationship in which she was wronged by him.

‘She relies on the supposed need to set the record straight about what happened between her and Mr Bull and also to rebut defamatory allegations made against her.

‘She claims the evidence put forward by Mr Bull in this litigation…made her look like, in her words, a whore and a gold digger and she should be entitled to show by writing the book that this is not the case.’

Mr Bull and his ex-wife Catherine (pictured above) who divorced in October 2017 after Mr Bull's relationship with Ms Desporte was revealed

Mr Bull and his ex-wife Catherine (pictured above) who divorced in October 2017 after Mr Bull’s relationship with Ms Desporte was revealed 

The judge also refused to categorise the controversial parts of the book as ‘porn’, as Mr Bull claimed, saying: ‘The passages of the book relating to sex between the parties were not written for the primary purpose of inducing sexual excitement in the reader, which is the hallmark of pornography.’

But he added: ‘However, there is no doubt that many of the passages could be described as graphic if not explicit.’

The judge awarded Mr Bull £10,000 damages for misuse of private information, plus £2,500 aggravated damages and £50 for unauthorised use of his photographs.

In 2017, in a candid newspaper interview, Ms Desporte gave details of how Mr Bull spent thousands taking her to Antony Joshua fights and star-studded celebrity bashes before their relationship foundered after nine months.

Mr Bull said he needed the injunction to protect his ex-wife (pictured together after lottery win)

Mr Bull said he needed the injunction to protect his ex-wife (pictured together after lottery win)

Mr Bull’s barrister, Jacob Dean, told the court that Mr Bull received a text from Ms Desporte on June 27 this year, telling him: ‘I’m writing a book and an article. The book is about me, not about you. There’s a bit about you.. I don’t want to create difficulties for you.’

The judge in his judgment today set out a passage from the opening chapter of the book in which Ms Desporte writes: ‘Gazing up at the sky, which was white with dust and sand from the Calima, there was something medicinal and calming about the off-white shade of colour which gave me comfort and strength. It was a far cry from the many nights of champagne and passion spent with Gareth Bull.

‘It was sometimes so difficult when I was forced by necessity to retrace my steps, past the five-star hotels and villas where there had been so much intensity and electricity between us.

‘This relationship was different, the emotional, spiritual and sexual connection between us was extraordinary almost supernatural!

‘His charms seemed to smash straight through my firewall!!’

Ms Desporte said Manchester United fan Mr Bull (pictured with Eric Cantona) told her 'Google me' when he chatted her up in her bar in Tenerife

Ms Desporte said Manchester United fan Mr Bull (pictured with Eric Cantona) told her ‘Google me’ when he chatted her up in her bar in Tenerife

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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