Rugby star Gareth Thomas settles case with ex-partner after being accused of hiding his HIV status

Gareth Thomas

Rugby star Gareth Thomas has settled a legal dispute with his ex-partner who accused him of “deceptively transmitting HIV” to him when they were together. 

The Welsh former professional rugby union and rugby league player, 48, came out as gay in 2009 and publicly revealed his HIV-positive status 2019.

Thomas’ ex-partner – Ian Baum – accused the TV personality of hiding his HIV status from him and “failing” to ensure he did not pass the virus on

Thomas – known to most rugby fans as Alfie – strongly denied the accusations but admitted the subject was not initially brought up during their relationship. He also admitted he believed he could not transmit HIV to others. 

Today (30 January), the BBC reported that Thomas settled the case at the High Court for £75,000 plus costs but that it was “not an admission of liability or guilt”. 

McCue Jury & Partners, the lawyers representing Baum, confirmed a settlement had been agreed after he sued Gareth Thomas for £150,000. 

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

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

Following the settlement, Gareth Thomas took to Twitter to release a statement. 

He wrote on the social media site: “I’m making this announcement first before the tabloids take my truth. I am delighted to say that the legal case against me has been settled by means of a Part 36 offer. 

“This is not an admission of liability or guilt. I maintain my innocence in all the meritless allegations.

“In personal injury cases like this the accuser has no financial risks even if they lose, but for me winning had huge financial implications. Paying £75k plus costs now is nothing compared to the many multiples of that sum I’d have had to pay to successfully defend myself in court.

“For my own mental health and that of my family, this closure and acceptance from the other side is a hugely positive outcome.

“As the largest HIV charity in the UK said, there are no winners in HIV cases like these, and that is certainly the case.

“To all my family, friends and supporters and sponsors, I love you and thank you xxxx.”

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