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Koo Stark fails to stop judge’s ruling being made public

American-born Ms Stark, 63, who dated the Duke of York in the 1980s, has been embroiled in a dispute over money with former partner Warren Walker.

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Koo Stark (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Koo Stark (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Koo Stark (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Actress Koo Stark, an ex-girlfriend of the Duke of York, has failed to stop a judge’s ruling in which she was criticised from being made public.

American-born Ms Stark, 63, who dated Andrew in the 1980s, has been embroiled in a dispute over money with former partner Warren Walker.

Ms Stark and Mr Walker were in a relationship in the 1990s and have an adult daughter.

Judge David Halpern, who oversaw a High Court trial in London earlier this year, has ruled against Miss Stark and criticised her.

The judge has said, in a ruling, that he found her to be “both evasive and combative” when answering questions at the trial.

He also said he could not “accept Mr Walker as a witness of truth”.

Ms Stark had asked the judge to publish a anonymous ruling, which did not identity her or Mr Walker.

She had raised concern about their daughter being identified if names were named.

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Koo Stark pictured in 1982 (Archive/PA)

Koo Stark pictured in 1982 (Archive/PA)

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Koo Stark pictured in 1982 (Archive/PA)

But Judge Halpern ruled against her.

Ms Stark then failed to persuade a Court of Appeal judge to let her mount a challenge to Judge Halpern’s ruling.

Judge Halpern had analysed evidence at a private hearing – after a similar privacy application by Miss Stark.

He said Ms Stark and Mr Walker had, some years ago, been involved in private proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court centred on their daughter.

The judge said evidence aired at this year’s trial included evidence from those proceedings.

But he allowed journalists to report a summary of the money dispute has ruled that a judgment, which did not include confidential evidence aired in proceedings centred on the pair’s daughter, should be made public.

Ms Stark had told Judge Halpern that Mr Walker was in breach of two contracts to provide sums of money for her.

She said, in 1997, he had agreed to pay her £50,000 a year for the rest of her life and said, under a 2001 agreement, she was entitled to a £200,000 lump sum.

Mr Walker disputed her claims.

Judge Halpern said Ms Stark had “failed to establish” that the “alleged 1997 promise” constituted a binding agreement she could enforce, and said she had “failed to establish that the alleged 2001 promise” gave rise to a binding agreement she could enforce.

Judge Halpern criticised Ms Stark.

“Ms Stark was cross-examined over two days,” said the judge in his ruling.

“I found her to be both evasive and combative.

“She sought to use her cross-examination as a platform for making the points she wanted to make instead of answering the questions she was asked.”

The judge said Ms Stark had “claimed to have left all financial arrangements to her various lawyers and agents” and said she was “dyslexic” and is “an artist”.

“I find this professed ignorance of her financial affairs implausible,” Judge Halpern added.

“She has been living beyond her means for many years and has unsurprisingly taken a close interest in maximising her income.

“During the 1990s she astutely exploited defamatory statements made about her, with the consequence that she received libel damages totalling £650,000; she did not dispute that these damages were her main source of income in the 1990s.

“In August 1996, shortly after she discovered she was pregnant, she signed an agreement with Hola! (Hello!) Magazine, in which she agreed to give them an exclusive interview and exclusive photographs of her baby.

“She claimed to have forgotten this when she was preparing her witness statement for these proceedings.

“On her own evidence, she would have sold to OK! Magazine the exclusive rights to (their daughter’s) christening for £500,000, had this not been opposed by Mr Walker.”

The judge said there had been occasions when Mr Walker “did not tell the court the whole truth”.

He added: “I cannot accept Mr Walker as a witness of truth and I cannot accept any of his oral evidence unless it is inherently probable or is supported by sufficient corroborative evidence.”

PA