Gay former Welsh international rugby star Gareth Thomas is being sued by his ex-boyfriend for supposedly knowingly infecting him with HIV.
Thomas, a fervent HIV activist, was forced to disclose his positive status in 2019 when a tabloid press agency threatened to publish an exposé. Since then he has used his high-profile status to promote positive visibility of people living with HIV and campaigns for PreP and U=U.
The Sunday Times revealed yesterday that Thomas’s ex-partner Ian Baum has filed a case with the British High Court accusing Thomas of “deceptively transmitting HIV” and “failing to take reasonable care” by allegedly hiding his HIV status.
The lawsuit states, “That information, had it become publicly known, would have been extremely damaging to the defendant’s public reputation as a person who had spoken out about his homosexuality and LGBT issues.
“Since that time the defendant has portrayed himself as a spokesperson for HIV without ever disclosing that he deceptively transmitted HIV to the claimant in 2014.”
According to the report, Baum alleges that he had received a negative HIV test prior to beginning a relationship with Thomas and that he could not have contracted the disease from anyone else.
Life and times of rugby star who became an HIV campaignerhttps://t.co/eIe54Ug742
— Matt Dickinson (@DickinsonTimes) August 6, 2022
His legal council also asserts that he had become suspicious of Thomas’s illness when he noticed him taking medication from unmarked bottles. The filing claims that Thomas carried on the deception by telling him that the pills were vitamins.
Baum is reported to be suing Thomas for an undisclosed six-figure sum claiming serious physical and psychological injury ranging from alcohol dependency, depression and loss of life expectancy.
Although no formal statement has been issued by Thomas or his lawyers, the Sunday Times article maintains that they are refuting the claims and are contesting the case based on a handwritten note that they claim came from Baum in January 2016. The note which is expected to be submitted as evidence allegedly states “I lied – I already had HIV. Give this to your solicitor.”
Thomas’s lawyers have until September to file their defence ahead of the hearing.
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