Ex-royal butler Paul Burrell to hear privacy claim result in Max Clifford case


Former royal butler Paul Burrell learns the result of his privacy claim against disgraced PR guru Max Clifford on Friday.

Clifford, who is serving an eight-year jail sentence for sex offences, has branded Mr Burrell's £50,000 action for breach of confidence and misuse of private information an ''affront to common sense''.

Mr Burrell claims he hired Clifford to limit bad press coverage about him but, rather than stopping stories, he "betrayed" him by passing on material in a fax to Rebekah Brooks at the now-defunct News of the World.

He says that any agreement between them was terminated before the fax, containing details about Mr Burrell's life with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the late Princess Diana, was sent in November 2002 - the day after the butler was acquitted of stealing items belonging to the Princess.

At London's High Court in January, Mr Burrell told Deputy Judge Richard Spearman that after he met Clifford in April 2002, the PR man said he needed to know more about him.

"He said I had to trust him with my innermost secrets because all his clients did that and he locked their secrets up in his safe ... he said that as my agent he would need to know my secrets so that he could defend me."

He added: "This is a man who I trusted and was betrayed by."

Clifford said Mr Burrell was never a PR client but came to him for one reason - to sell a "sensational" story to a newspaper about his time in royal service.

The letter which was faxed contained a watered-down version of what Mr Burrell said he wanted to reveal and had been sent to Clifford on the basis he would use it as a "pitch" to broker a deal.

By sending the fax, he was following Mr Burrell's instructions, said Clifford.

The newspaper offered a lot less than the £400,000 or £500,000 Mr Burrell wanted, said Clifford, so he gave up as he did not have the time to waste on a story which was not worth much at all.

"And it remained in confidence. Nothing he said to me appeared in the News of the World."