An ex-fiance of socialite and model Tamara Ecclestone tried to blackmail her for £200,000 (€231,000) – almost 10 years after they broke up, a court has heard.
Derek Rose (33) went out with Ms Ecclestone, (28) when she was 17 and before he changed his name by deed poll from Jonathan Ketterman. They split up in August 2002. In November 2011, having already sold one story about her for £10,000 (€11,600), Rose orchestrated a blackmail letter with Jakir Uddin (20), it is alleged.
The men sent an email to Ms Ecclestone's then manager Dana Malmstrom claiming a tabloid newspaper had offered Rose £200,000 for details of their relationship, the prosecution alleged. But no newspaper had made an offer.
The email was sent while Ms Ecclestone's profile was high – appearing in 'Billion Dollar Girl', a reality television programme exploring her life as a rich youngster, and after she had generated publicity in charity campaigns.
Mr Uddin, a media studies student from the Midlands, sent the email on November 16, 2011, acting as Mr Rose's representative. Part of the email read: "My client is a quiet family man and he doesn't need the headache of this story coming out because it would be embarrassing for both our clients."
The defendants allegedly wrote they would be happy to discuss "a non-release fee" and sign a confidentiality contract.
Rose, of Arlington Road, Camden, London, and Uddin, of Old Walsall Road, Birmingham, both deny blackmail. Mr Rose was the "driving force" behind the scheme and planned to keep £150,000 (€174,000) if they were successful, said prosecuting barrister William Boyce.
The seven men and five women of the jury heard that Mr Rose and Mr Uddin blamed each other upon arrest. The trial continues.