BP boss’ gay relationship revealed

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The chief executive of one of the UK’s biggest companies has failed to keep details of his four year relationship with another man out of the press.

Lord Browne took his fight as far as the House of Lords in an attempt to stop Associated Newspapers, owners of the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard, publishing details of his relationship with Jeff Chevalier.

Mr Chevalier, a Canadian citizen, went to the press after Lord Browne ended their relationship last year.

He revealed that the peer, who is to step down from his job in July, effectively “kept” him.

The House of Lords today denied Lord Browne permission to appeal against earlier rulings by the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

The BP chief had argued that his former partner was breaching a duty of confidence arising from their personal relationship and that many of his assertions were untrue.

Now the details have been released.

Lord Browne, 59, met Mr Chevalier in 2002, and over the next four years provided him with a life of luxury, including paying for his accommodation, clothing and extensive international travel.

The peer also paid substantial sums of money to Mr Chevalier, and paid for a university course so that he could stay in the UK.

The High Court had previously ruled in a private sitting that as Lord Browne had taken his partner to various social events, including those connected with his duties at BP, the relationship was widely known about.

When the relationship ended in 2006, Lord Browne provided some financial assistance to Mr Chevalier to help him adapt to his previous lifestyle.

PA reports that Mr Chevalier asserted that Lord Browne would:

“assist in the first year of me transitioning from living in multimillion-pound homes around the world, flying in private jets, five-star hotels, £2,000 suits, and so on to a less than modest life in Canada.”

However, the Canadian went back to his ex asking for more money towards the end of 2006.

The judge described this as a “thinly-veiled threat,” according to PA.

Mr Chevalier then approached the press with details of their relationship.

Lord Browne is one of the highest paid executives in the UK. In 2004 he earned over £5m. He joined BP as an apprentice in 1966.

He was knighted in 1998 and created Baron Browne of Madingley in 2001.

A BP spokesman said: “We cannot comment at the moment as we are assessing the judgment.”