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VICE LITTLE EARNER; RAF officer sues for pounds 100,000 over ex-lover Belle's Call Girl Diaries.

Byline: Keith McLeod

SEX blogger Belle de Jour is at the centre of a pounds 100,000 libel action by her RAF officer ex-lover.

Scots-based Flight Lieutenant Owen Morris has launched the action over two newspaper articles written after Belle - research scientist Dr Brooke Magnanti - revealed her identity in 2009.

In them, the former call girl claimed she only revealed herself as the author of the Belle de Jour blog because her former boyfriend was about to "out" her.

The articles also claim she was forced to take out a restraining order against him after they split.

Magnanti, 35, had been writing the blog about her secret life of vice since 2003, when she was involved with Morris, who is in his late thirties.

Series The Belle de Jour blog always referred to him as "The Boy".

The blog was turned into a book before becoming the TV series Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, starring Billie Piper.

Owen and Magnanti, who were together for seven years, split up before she revealed her true identity in an article in the Sunday Times in 2009.

Morris, who is based at RAF Lossiemouth, is suing Times Newspapers over two articles which appeared in the same newspaper.

He is asking for aggravated damages and an injunction to prevent similar statements being repeated in future.

Papers lodged at the Royal Courts of Justice in London by Morris claim that Florida-born Magnanti defamed him by saying she had suffered death threats and harassment and had to get a restraining order against him after they split.

Morris also claims that in the same article, published in March 2010, Magnanti implies she revealed her identity only because her ex-boyfriend was about to do so to the tabloid press.

The writ states: "The claimant and Ms Magnanti had been in a long-term relationship. They lived and shared their lives together.

"This was well known to their family and many friends, as well as the claimant's colleagues in the RAF.

"Following Ms Magnanti outing herself publicly as the well known call girl author Belle de Jour, the claimant was widely identified by the media as her former boyfriend, and specifically named as 'Owen' in the press."

The case also centres on a second Sunday Times article published on November 21, 2010.

In it, Magnanti implies she did not want to be identified as Belle de Jour. She is quoted as saying: "The ex wanted his payday. It is what it is."

In the writ, Morris's address is given as Tiree Blk, Officers' Mess, RAF Lossiemouth. It is believed he has served in Afghanistan.

Magnanti works at Bristol University, where she studies the effects on children of exposure to pesticides.

She grew up in Florida, before moving to the UK to study for a PhD.


EXPOSED: Billie Piper as Belle, main picture. Top right, Dr Brooke Magnanti
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 9, 2011
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