Terry pays £400,000 to buy the silence of lingerie model
John Terry endured the most expensive day of his football career yesterday, losing the captaincy of the England football team and paying out £400,000 (€458,000) to the lingerie model with whom he is alleged to have had an affair.
It has emerged that Terry and his representatives agreed to pay the astonishing sum to Vanessa Perroncel in order to stop her divulging details of their alleged affair.
The settlement led Ms Perroncel, the former partner of Terry's England team-mate Wayne Bridge, to attend a press conference yesterday afternoon in which Max Clifford, her publicist, declared that, despite receiving six-figure offers, she would not be selling her story to a Sunday newspaper.
The settlement proved too little, too late for Terry in his efforts to retain the captaincy.
An hour before Ms Perroncel's press conference, Terry had been stripped of what he had previously called the "ultimate honour" during a 10-minute meeting with Fabio Capello, the national team's Italian manager, at the Football Association's headquarters at Wembley.
As Ms Perroncel's statement was being read by Mr Clifford, reports of Capello's decision began emerging on Sky News in the background.
Reacting to the news, Mr Clifford said: "Vanessa would also like to add that she finds it very sad that John Terry has been dropped as England captain."
The petite model, wearing a black quilted jacket and black skinny jeans, stood quietly beside her publicist as he read the statement on her behalf at his west London office yesterday afternoon.
She then looked visibly shocked as she heard of the Sky News report about Terry.
She shook her head and mouthed: "Oh my God."
Terry becomes the first footballer to lose the England captaincy for off-the-field behaviour. Sources at the FA have indicated that, while the alleged affair with Ms Perroncel has attracted the most lurid headlines, it was a growing list of indiscretions, proven or otherwise, that had made the Chelsea defender's position untenable.
He has been replaced by Rio Ferdinand, the Manchester United defender.
Terry will remain an integral part of the England team preparing for this summer's World Cup finals, but the decision to strip him of the captaincy represents a hard-line decision from Capello, the Italian disciplinarian who is paid a basic salary of £4.8m (€5.5m) a year by the English FA.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is head of the Church of England, has joined the condemnation of Terry. Dr Rowan Williams linked the footballer's behaviour with a decline of marital fidelity.
"Clearly, a lot of people think there isn't a problem there and that's a pity because adultery is adultery," he told a reporter from the Religious Intelligence website.
"It's a shame that we lost that sense that faithfulness matters. I'd like to see it back." (© The Times, London)
TERRY STRIPPED OF ENGLAND CAPTAINCY: SPORT