Rugby star Gareth Thomas sued by ex alleging he ‘deceptively transmitted HIV’

Former Wales international rugby player Gareth Thomas

Rugby star Gareth Thomas’ former partner has filed a lawsuit accusing him of “deceptively transmitting HIV” to him when they were together.

Thomas, 48, is a gay sporting icon who came out in 2009, and a pioneer of HIV/ AIDS activism, having publicly revealed his HIV-positive status 2019.

According to The Sunday Times, the 48-year-old is being sued in Britain’s High Court by his ex-partner Ian Baum, 59, who has accused him of hiding his status and “failing to take reasonable care” not to pass on the virus.

In legal documents Baum, who began his relationship with Thomas in 2013, alleges that he saw the rugby star taking medication from unmarked bottles, but was told that the pills were vitamins.

Baum alleges that he had tested negative for HIV when the couple were first together, and that there was no one else he could have contracted HIV from.

He also claims that Thomas tried to cover up this alleged “deception”, and had pressured him to not take legal action.

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.”

Gareth Thomas is expected to refute Ian Baum’s claims

Ian Baum is reportedly seeking a six-figure sum in damages, for serious physical and psychological injury, including alcohol dependence, depression, and loss of life expectancy.

But The Sunday Times reported Gareth Thomas’ lawyers are planning to use a handwritten notes from Baum, dated January 2016, as evidence. The note allegedly states: “I lied – I already had HIV. Give this to your solicitor.”

A source close to Thomas reportedly told the Daily Mail that the rugby icon is preparing a “robust defence”, and that the claims are a “work of fiction”.

Thomas’ lawyers have not yet filed a defence, but have until September to do so.

PinkNews has approached Gareth Thomas for comment.