Imogen Thomas, left, pictured in 2003 at the Miss World beauty pageant in Shanghai
Imogen Thomas, left, pictured in 2003 at the Miss World beauty pageant in Shanghai REUTERS/Claro Cortes

The former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas, subject to a gagging order by a Premiership footballer, has been accused of blackmailing the well known star.

Ms Thomas, 28, denies accusations that she demanded a signed shirt, match tickets and up to £100,000 in order not to speak out about their alleged six-month affair.

At the high court in London, Mr Justice Eady - explaining why he had granted an injunction preventing the naming of the footballer last month - said there was "ample reason not to trust" Thomas on the basis of evidence which suggested she was seeking a six-figure pay-off from her alleged former lover.

The judge threw out a bid by her lawyers and The Sun newspaper to lift the privacy injunction banning publicity about the claimed relationship. The ruling could have far-reaching implications for "kiss and tell" stories after the High Court heard their publication was not in the public interest.

The glamour model was accused by the footballer of contacting him by texts and phone calls in March and April this year.

Outlining two meetings last month between Ms Thomas and the player at hotels where he was staying, Mr Justice Eady said the player had attended the first, eventually handing over the signed shirt before telling her he was not prepared to meet her demand that she "needed" £50,000.

At the second meeting a few days later, an unspecified number of tickets were handed over. The judge said it seemed the player, who has a family, had been "set up" by Ms Thomas so photographs could be taken at either one or both of the hotels.

Renewing the order granting the player anonymity, the judge said the circumstances of his case meant he had a "reasonable expectation" of privacy and there was "no suggestion of any legitimate public interest" in publishing the story.

Ms Thomas denies asking her alledged lover for money or being behind a story in The Sun about the alleged affair. She said: "Yet again, my name and my reputation are being trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide. What's more, I can't even defend myself because I've been gagged. Where's the fairness in this?"

The ruling is likely to have far-reaching consequences for future stories, Eady ruled that "as in so many kiss and tell cases ... the answer is not far to seek".

Eady added: "The majority of cases over the last few years ... would appear to be of the so-called 'kiss and tell' variety and they not infrequently involve blackmailing threats. Blackmail is, of course, a crime and in that context the courts have long afforded anonymity to those targeted as a matter of public policy. This has not hitherto been questioned."

Meanwhile, foreign newspapers have continued to undermine injunctions taken out in Britain by naming the celebrities involved.

Several have already published the name of the married footballer involved in Ms Thomas' case. The two are alleged to have conducted a six-month fling.

Several innocent people, including TV presenter Gabby Logan and celebrity ­political activist Jemima Khan, have already being caught up in the fallout of the controversial orders after being wrongly identified on Twitter as having affairs.