[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Sheridan wife 'sick' at sex claim
Gail and Tommy Sheridan
Gail and Tommy Sheridan arrive at the Court of Session
The wife of Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan has spoken of her disgust at an allegation that he had sex with another woman.

Gail Sheridan, 42, gave evidence in her husband's defamation action against the News of the World.

Mr Sheridan, who has been conducting his own case, asked about her reaction to one claim that he was unfaithful.

Mrs Sheridan said she felt "sick to the pit of my stomach" and added that she did not believe the claim.

The air stewardess was the final witness in the case.

On opening his examination, Mr Sheridan said: "I appreciate this is an unusual situation and we know each other by first name.

"But for the purposes of the court I'm going to refer to you as Mrs Sheridan."

'Absolute rubbish'

Mrs Sheridan told the court she had known the former Scottish Socialist Party leader since they were 14.

She said they began dating in 1992 but their relationship did not become serious until a year later.

Mr Sheridan asked his wife, whom he married in June 2000, if he had been candid about his previous relationships.

I can appear like that, even when you think I am on a flight
Gail Sheridan

Mrs Sheridan said: "Yes. I knew you had lots of girlfriends because I knew you for years.

"I knew half of the girlfriends you had."

The Glasgow MSP asked the witness how she felt about the allegation that he had sex with another woman, former SSP member Katrine Trolle, in their home.

Mrs Sheridan said: "Sick to the pit of my stomach."

Mr Sheridan asked if she believed the allegation and she said: "No, I do not. It is a load of absolute rubbish.

"It is the worst thing that any woman can be told that another woman was in your bed with her man.

"I never believed it."

'Hugging and kissing'

Looking at her husband across a packed courtroom, she added: "I believe you."

She said Ms Trolle spoke of being given a glass of red wine by Mr Sheridan.

Mrs Sheridan said: "You wouldn't know one end of a wine bottle from the next.

"You wouldn't know how to open it."

The suggestion was "total utter rot", she added.

Mrs Sheridan said she knew Ms Trolle very well, had socialised with her and canvassed with her during the Anniesland by-election.

Katrine Trolle
Katrine Trolle claimed she had sex with Tommy Sheridan

The last time they met was at an SSP conference, after the News of the World's stories in November 2004.

Mrs Sheridan said: "I was pregnant at the time.

"She was up hugging and kissing me and wanted to touch my tummy."

She said Ms Trolle had sympathised about the newspaper stories and claimed the News of the World had offered her money.

She detailed other reasons for disbelieving the allegation.

Mr Sheridan was also said to have participated in a group sex orgy at Cupids swingers' club in Manchester with Ms Trolle and sex columnist Anvar Khan.

He asked his wife why she didn't believe the story.

She said: "Because I trust you.

"But I have also checked my diaries."

I have been proud of you all my life but I have never, never been more proud of you than I have the last four weeks in this court
Gail Sheridan

She said she had also obtained her work rosters from British Airways, where she has worked as an air stewardess for 21 years.

She told the court that even when working, bad weather or technical problems could cancel a flight.

"I can appear like that, even when you think I am on a flight," she said.

Mrs Sheridan said her diaries showed on one weekend which might have been the Cupids visit she and her husband were at the top table of a ChildLine function with Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell.

She also told the court there was a political plot against her husband.

She said: "You were warned about it. Everybody warned you about it. They were slagging you off.

"You chose to ignore it. I warned you, your own mother warned you. Your sister warned you. People in the party warned you. People in the media warned you, for that matter."

'Murder charge'

Mrs Sheridan broke down in the witness box as she told her husband of her pride at the way he has conducted himself during his defamation action.

Mr Sheridan wiped away tears.

The politician asked his wife if she would have given evidence if she believed accusations against him.

She replied: "There is no way I would be here.

"Neither would you. You would be in the Clyde with a piece of concrete tied round you and I would be in court for your murder.

"I can assure you of that right now."

Mrs Sheridan was then asked if she believed the claims.

She said no and added: "I have been proud of you all my life but I have never, never been more proud of you than I have the last four weeks in this court.

"You are taking them on, the News Of The World, and you're taking the legal establishment on.

"I have never been more proud of you."

Questioned by Michael Jones QC, for the News of the World, Mrs Sheridan denied lying.

Jurors have been sent home until Wednesday so that a debate about legal details can take place in their absence.

See Tommy Sheridan and his wife arriving at court

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific