Ryan Giggs has admitted glamour model and former Big Brother star Imogen Thomas did not blackmail him over allegations of an extra-marital affair.
The Premier League player is said to have had an affair with Ms Thomas and was granted an injunction earlier this year to prevent the media from naming him.
The injunction had up to now remained in place despite the Manchester United star having been named on the internet, in foreign newspapers and in the House of Commons.
But the injunction had not prevented Ms Thomas from being named.
She was accused of blackmail, of setting up the footballer and of trying to sell her story. Until now she had been unable to respond openly to these allegations.
Thomas’ lawyers have spent months arguing that her name has been dragged through the mud.
In court, a fulsome statement agreed by both sides was read out in which Giggs, who was not present, accepted that the blackmail allegations were baseless.
On the steps of the High Court, Ms Thomas read a brief statement.
Giggs plays for Manchester United
She said: “To suddenly have to defend my character because of this legal process has been extremely upsetting and stressful.
“I’m just relieved that the parties and the court now accept that I’m no blackmailer. I have been vindicated and that’s all I wanted.”
News of the apparent affair first surfaced in an article in The Sun newspaper on February 14.
The article claimed Ms Thomas had been engaged in an affair with a ‘married footballer’.
Later that day, the footballer applied for an injunction preventing him from being named.
Giggs was able to give a witness evidence to the judge which Ms Thomas claims was damning but baseless.
Her complaint was that he had been granted anonymity through an injunction she was not aware of and which allowed her name to be published and her reputation to be damaged.
At the start of the brief hearing, Mr Justice Eady hinted he might lift the injunction.
“There is no longer any point in maintaining the anonymity?” he said, in what appeared to be an open question.