Jeremy Clarkson a bully says his 'Minnie Mouse' ex-wife
Alex Hall left terrified and shaking after Top Gear presenter sent her 20-page gagging order
JEREMY CLARKSON has been labelled a bully by his former wife, who said yesterday she was left terrified and shaking when she received a 20-page injunction over a book she planned to write.
Alex Hall's marriage to the Top Gear presenter ended before he was famous but she maintained a "serious relationship" with him after he married his second wife Frances, she told the Commons Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions.
She claimed Clarkson took out the gagging order in September 2010 - preventing her from revealing details of their ten-year post-divorce affair - assuming she would accept it. He saw her as a shy "Minnie Mouse" character, she said, who would "kowtow" to his "bullying".
As The Times reports, Hall said she actually had no intention of publishing "salacious details" of her relationship with Clarkson. She had just wanted to write a "witty self-help book" about the impact of having a relationship with a celebrity.
She said the gagging order, sent in an email from her ex-husband's lawyers, made her "shake" with fear and left her terrified that she would face huge legal fees and even a prison sentence.
Then, in October 2011, the affair was revealed when Clarkson withdrew what he described as the "pointless" injunction. As a result of the painful publicity, Hall said one of her children had to leave their job while another had to take two weeks out of school.
Commenting on Hall's committee appearance for The Guardian, Simon Hoggart said she looked as if she would rather be "behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius or even a Reliant Robin than the kind of gas-guzzling, 190mph, V8, titanium-clad behemoth" Clarkson might favour. Hoggart pointed out that the only reason the world knows of the affair was because of the injunction.
As for Hall's writing plans, when asked if the contents of her book would be different as a result of the injunction, she told the committee: "Well I suppose there's another chapter. I have got lots of books in me now."