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UK: BP boss quits as gay life exposed

Wed 2 May 2007 In: International News

Major oil company BP says its CEO resigned with immediate effect after a court lifted an injunction preventing a newspaper group from publishing details about his same-sex relationship. "In my 41 years with BP I have kept my private life separate from my business life," BP's former Chief Executive John Browne said in a statement on Tuesday. "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private. It is a matter of deep disappointment that a newspaper group has now decided that allegations about my personal life should be made public," he added. Browne said he had had a four-year relationship with Canadian citizen Jeff Chevalier who had told his story to the publishers of the UK newspapers the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard. Browne, who had been due to step down in July, said he had decided to leave now to "avoid unnecessary embarrassment and distraction to the company". One analyst, who declined to be named, said: "It is an ignominious end to a glorious career". Browne did acknowledge in a personal statement that he had lied in his initial witness statement about how he met Chevalier. While he had quickly retracted this "untruth", a BP source said it was this that made Browne feel compelled to resign. Justice David Eady told the High Court he had taken into consideration Browne's admission he had lied for his decision after a legal battle that had lasted four months in private. "I am not prepared to make allowances for a 'white lie' told to the court in circumstances such as these," Eady said.     Ref: Reuters (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 2nd May 2007 - 12:00pm

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