Judge rules that Man United star Marcos Rojo's sex blackmail claim is bogus
A judge has dismissed Manchester United's Marcos Rojo's attempts to cover up a sex act by accusing a fitness instructor of a £100,000 (€140,000) blackmail.
The Premier League defender had accused Sarah Watson of blackmailing him over a sex act which took place between them and asked the court to let him remain anonymous.
She claims he offered to pay her £100,000 for her silence after she was offered £17,500 (€24,311) to sell her story to a newspaper.
Mr Justice Warby dismissed his application, saying it was "not likely" that the star would be able to prove he was being blackmailed and the "strong probability" was that he was trying to buy her off.
He refused him anonymity due to it being a one-off act.
The judge said: "Although information about sexual life will generally be a prime candidate for protection, the sexual relationship here was fleeting and involved a single act.
"The limited extent of the relationship means that the interference with privacy that publication would involve is correspondingly limit.
"I do not consider it likely that the claimant will establish at trial that the defendant blackmailed him.
"It can fairly be said, as it can of anyone selling personal information for publication, that the defendant's conduct is unattractive.
"However, assessing the case on the evidence now before the court, the strong probability is that a court would find that the claimant's representatives decided to buy off the defendant, and sought to persuade her to name her price, and that her conduct did not amount to blackmail."
The 25-year-old Argentinian international has decided not to appeal against a High Court ruling last month that he should not be allowed to keep his identity secret. The star, who joined Manchester United in a £16m deal from Sporting Lisbon in August last year, has a long-term partner, Lisbon-based lingerie model Eugenia Lusardo, with whom he has a daughter.
Rojo had claimed fitness instructor Ms Watson, in her 30s, demanded £100,000 to keep quiet about their one night of passion. But she alleged it was he who offered her the cash as hush money after she had already been offered £17,500 for her kiss-and-tell story from a British newspaper.
When she went ahead with her story, he applied to the court for an anonymity order.
Mr Justice Warby ruled the order should be lifted and has ordered him to pay her £25,000 legal costs. His solicitors Manleys have confirmed that he had decided not to appeal against the decision.
The judge revealed that it was after his club's Christmas party in December last year that the woman performed oral sex on the footballer.
They have never met since, but within a month he sent her "explicit images" of himself. (© Daily Telegraph, London)