Carole Caplin, the"lifestyle guru" and special advisor to Cherie Blair has denied having sex with Tony Blair after giving him a massage, the High Court in London was told yesterday.
Caplin, a long-standing friend of Cherie Blair, insisted that she was not “some sort of sexpot or randy masseuse” and had not engaged in any “hanky-panky” when she gave massages to the former prime minister.
Caplin made her extraordinary denials during libel proceedings against The Daily Mail newspaper in the High Court in London. She is taking legal action over an article that questioned whether she was planning to “blow the lid on Tony and Cherie Blair’s sex secrets”.
Caplin was a “lifestyle adviser” and fitness trainer to Cherie Blair throughout her time at Downing Street.
She attracted controversy in November 2002 when Peter Foster, a convicted Australian fraudster and her then boyfriend, negotiated a £69,000 discount on the purchase of two flats in Bristol on behalf of Mrs Blair.
The article, published in the Daily Mail last September, suggested that Caplin might have been considering selling the story of her 10 years with the Blairs, after the financial failure of a gym she set up.
She reportedly turned down an offer of £1million for her story 10 years ago.
According to the report, Caplin frequently gave Mr Blair neck massages, and had a pet name for him – Toblerone.
The article included a comment by Ian Monk, her former publicist, who said: “The problem was that you could never put her on television because there was always this nudge-nudge, wink-wink thing going on about Tony and massage and she was not willing to put the full version out there.”
Mr Price said that the comment inferred that Miss Caplin had had sex with Mr Blair, an allegation she denies. He insisted that there were no grounds for suggesting that she would break the Blairs’ confidence by selling her story.
Mr Price said: “It [the article] is clearly suggesting that some hanky-panky went on in these massages … there are rumours that something sexual went on in the massages with Tony.
“My client’s business involves respect for confidential information — it’s at the heart of what she does, at the heart of this relationship.
“The defendant’s approach to meaning is based on over-analysis, flawed logic and a massive playing-down of the impression created by the article.”
He also denied that Miss Caplin had lost money. He said: “The reader has got the impression that my claimant has lost an awful lot of money.”
Carole Caplin came to public attention in 1994, when, on the day of Mr Blair’s first speech as Labour leader, a tabloid newspaper published a topless picture of her. Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair’s aide, was said to be “literally spitting” over the images. He told Mr Blair: “Our beautiful day has been ruined by this woman.”
Her rift with Campbell continued throughout her time as Mrs Blair’s adviser, reaching new heights during the controversy over the Bristol flats, when Mr Campbell threatened to resign.
Despite the controversy, she made appearances in Hello! magazine discussing her relationship with Mr Blair, while Marie Claire published a photograph of her applying Mrs Blair’s lipstick in the Blairs’ bedroom. Mr Blair subsequently cut all ties with her and Cherie Blair limited her role to fitness trainer. Miss Caplin said that she was “hurt” by the decision.