Thursday July 13, 2006
Former leader of the Scottish Socialist party Tommy Sheridan had group sex with a man and three women in a hotel while snorting cocaine and drinking champagne, a court heard yesterday.
Fiona McGuire, a former prostitute, originally told the News of the World that her first sexual encounter with the Glasgow MSP involved champagne, strawberries, and just the two of them.
But giving evidence in the court of session in Edinburgh yesterday, she told a different story, including how Mr Sheridan had instigated the group sex and was "up for anything".
Ms McGuire, 32, admitted under cross-examination that the first sexual encounter involved group sex. Graeme Henderson, representing Mr Sheridan, asked: "Have you always said that?"
Ms McGuire answered: "No, I have not. The first time I spoke to Douglas [Wight, news editor of the Scottish News of the World] about Tommy Sheridan I painted a slightly different picture of my involvement."
Mr Sheridan, a member of the Scottish parliament, is suing the News of the World for £200,000 over allegations, printed in 2004-05, that he had taken part in orgies and visited a swingers' club. He says the stories are false.
Ms McGuire, now a schools liaison officer living in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, claimed she and Mr Sheridan were joined in the room at the Tree Tops Hotel in Aberdeen by a man and two women she knew through her escort work.
Asked whether drugs were taken during the orgy, she said: "There was cocaine in the room and it was used by everyone."
Ms McGuire, who revealed she has had between 200 and 300 sexual partners, also said champagne was drunk by the group, including Mr Sheridan.
Mr Henderson asked: "So he was a champagne and cocaine socialist?"
She replied: "I cannot answer you."
Questioned about Mr Sheridan's role, Ms McGuire said: "He was very much involved and an instigator in the whole affair. He was jollying us all in having a good time. He was just up for anything."
Giving evidence on the seventh day of the civil action, Ms McGuire admitted her recollection of dates was not totally accurate. She said her relationship with Mr Sheridan, whom she first met at the home of an SSP activist, involved possibly a dozen sexual encounters between 2000 and 2004.
Earlier, a woman who claimed she saw Mr Sheridan having sex in a hotel suite denied she made up the story with her friend after newspaper allegations about the MSP. Helen Allison, 52, said the politician smiled at her when she discovered him in the bedroom of a suite at the Moat House in Glasgow.
Ms Allison was asked if a friend had contacted her after reports about Mr Sheridan's sex life appeared in the newspaper in 2004 and if the woman had joked about it being "an easy way to make money".
Ms Allison denied this, telling the court she had received an interim payment of £1,000 for her story. She and her friend had been promised a further £6,000 to cooperate with an article and pose for pictures, but negotiations had broken down.
The case continues.