Former Wales star facing court case
NEWS: Former Wales rugby union captain Gareth Thomas has been accused of ‘deceptively’ transmitting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to a former partner.
The 48-year-old is being sued in the High Court of England and Wales by his former boyfriend Ian Baum for allegedly hiding his HIV status and “failing to take reasonable care” to avoid passing on the infection.
The pair were in a relationship between 2013-2016, with Baum saying he was HIV negative when he first became involved with Thomas, who since retiring from rugby has become a broadcaster and campaigner for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights.
Baum, in court papers, added he noticed Thomas was taking pills from unmarked bottles only to be told they were multi-vitamins.
But he said he found out ex-British and Irish Lions skipper Thomas had HIV after discovering a tablet marked GSK1.
“On googling the GSK1 pill, the claimant discovered that the defendant was taking anti-viral HIV medication,” documents said.
“By transmitting HIV to the claimant, the defendant has caused him serious physical and psychological injury,” the papers said.
Baum alleges Thomas used “coercive and controlling behaviour” to prevent his HIV status becoming public knowledge.
“That information, had it become publicly known, would have been extremely damaging to the defendant’s public reputation as a person who had spoken out about his homosexuality and LGBTQ issues,” court documents said.
Thomas made sporting history by becoming the world’s first openly gay rugby union player in 2009.
His playing career saw Thomas win 100 caps for Wales, appear in four Rugby World Cups and also captain the Lions in 2005.
Thomas publicly revealed he was living with HIV, which if not treated can lead to the potentially life-threatening AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] in 2019.