Gordon Ramsay wins bitter legal 'hacking' row with father-in-law
Published 22/12/2011 | 10:03
Gordon Ramsay has won an acrimonious legal battle with his wife's family after the High Court ruled they had hacked into his personal computers, it has been reported.
The celebrity chef was awarded £250,000 in legal costs after a judge found his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson and other members of his family had illegally accessed his computers.
It came after Ramsay, 44, launched legal action earlier this year after discovering that personal messages between himself and his wife Tana had been read.
This week the court ordered her family pay £250,000 in legal costs after Mr Justice Briggs ruled they had hacked into their personal emails and company computers.
Mr Justice Briggs found Mr Hutcheson, and his daughter Orlanda Butland and son Adam Hutcheson were liable for breach of confidence, the Daily Mirror reported. He also ordered the trio hand over documents obtained as a result.
Making his order on Tuesday, Mr Justice Briggs said there was "no real prospect of ... successfully defending the claims for breaches of confidence", the paper said.
He said the three defendants should "pay to the claimants the sum of £250,000 on account of the said costs, by 4.30pm on March 20, 2012".
Ramsay, 44, was said to feel "vindicated" by his win, the newspaper reported.
The action came after he sacked Mr Hutcheson, 63, as chief executive of his company following the discovery that he had raised a secret family.
The High Court was told that Mr Hutcheson had raised two children with Frances Collins, his mistress, funding them with his six-figure salary as head of his son-in-law's global empire.
He also had four children with Greta, his unsuspecting wife, dividing his time and wealth between his two families.
The former chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, was accused of withdrawing £1.42 million from the company to fund a double life with his secret second 'wife' and family and paying £5,000 a month to a separate mistress for doing nothing.
Details of Mr Hutcheson’s double-life were disclosed last year after the Court of Appeal lifted a super-injunction he obtained in an attempt to keep his second life secret.
Ramsay then launched legal action, in which his 42-page writ alleged that dozens of highly personal messages were read.
They contained details of the couple's private lives, conversations about their four children and plans for a skiing holiday.
All other claims in the writ including allegations that Hutcheson, 63, took the money his firm to fund his double life and paying alleged mistress Sara Stewart will be heard in a later trial. Hutcheson and the other parties deny the other allegations.
A source close to Ramsay told the paper: "Given what Chris and members of his family did, Gordon and Tana had no choice but to take legal action. After what they have been subjected to they of course feel vindicated by the decision."
A spokesman for Ramsay declined to comment to the newspaper.
A spokesman for Mr Hutcheson was unavailable for comment.