Tommy Sheridan cheated on his wife in a string of sexual encounters with a married member of his party – including group sex at a swingers’ club and a threesome with his brother-in-law, a court heard yesterday.
The former Socialist MSP had sex with Katrine Trolle in his office at Glasgow City Chambers, she told his perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
Trolle, who is originally from Denmark but moved to Scotland in 1996, said she had had sex with Sheridan on at least eight occasions since meeting him on the campaign trail in 2000.
She described a number of casual sexual encounters with him over the following years and told how she went with him to a swingers’ club in Manchester with three other people.
Sheridan and his wife Gail, both 46, are accused of lying under oath during his successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006.
Sheridan denies lying to the courts during the trial, which followed the newspaper’s claims that he was an adulterer who visited swingers’ clubs.
He won £200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed the allegations about his private life.
The indictment against Sheridan contains the charge that he had lied about having sexual relations with Trolle during the action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, and about visiting Cupid’s in Manchester with her.
Trolle said her affair with Sheridan began during the SSP’s Anniesland by-election campaign in November 2000, after he told her he was “quite interested” in Danish liberal attitudes to sex and pornography.
He then invited her to his family home while his wife was at a Christmas party and they had sex in the same room where the Sheridans’ wedding photograph hung on the wall, she said.
Trolle, 36, said her next encounter with Sheridan came months later in Glasgow, when he took her to his brother-in-law Andrew McFarlane’s house in Cardonald for three-in-a-bed sex.
She told advocate depute Alex Prentice QC: “We arrived and Andy opened a bottle of wine so he and I could have a glass of wine. Tommy went upstairs and not long after I went up there as well.
“I was getting undressed, or Tommy was helping me to get undressed, when Andy appeared. We spent most of the night having sexual intercourse.”
Trolle went on to tell the court how she and Sheridan had sex on six other occasions – including at Glasgow City Chambers and at Cupid’s club in Manchester.
They also met up for sex at Trolle’s flat in Aberdeen while her husband was out and had sex in Sheridan’s City Chambers office after a march in November 2001.
Trolle also told the court how Sheridan had persuaded her to join him and three others in a trip to Cupid’s club in Manchester, telling her it was a “really lovely, fancy, nice place”.
She said she travelled to Glasgow from Aberdeen and was taken by Sheridan to his friend Gary Clark’s flat there. They were then joined by Anvar Khan and Andrew McFarlane, and Sheridan drove them all to the club.
She said she realised she had been an “absolute idiot” when she arrived, saying: “There was minging decor – old carpets, dingy lighting. It really wasn’t anything that Tommy had described.
“We went to one of the little side rooms and had sex – all of us.”
She also said she was left “tongue tied” when Sheridan was recognised by another visitor who mistook her for his wife Gail.
The group left the club with two other couples – two men and two women – and held an all-night orgy at a Manchester flat, Trolle said, telling the jury: “We all had sex with various partners.”
She said she went on to sleep with Sheridan on two further occasions in Dundee in 2004 before the News of the World article was published in November that year.
She was later cited as a witness in the 2006 libel action, and insisted in court today that she had told the truth about her affair with Sheridan.
But Paul McBride QC, who is representing Gail Sheridan, accused Trolle of being a “thoroughly dishonest” woman and suggested she had lied in her evidence in 2006.
The indictment against Gail Sheridan states she lied about seeing Trolle at the Scottish Socialist Party conference in Perth in 2005.
She swore under oath that she had seen and spoken to Trolle at the conference.
But Trolle told the court she was “certain” she had not been there, saying she had been babysitting for a friend at the time.
The trial was adjourned this afternoon after Gail Sheridan appeared to start crying in the dock as McBride spoke of the “indignity” she had suffered, prompting Sheridan to ask for an adjournment.
He asked Trolle: “You must know the indignity of Gail Sheridan sitting in the dock in this High Court, as you maintain the position you had sex with her husband without her knowledge in her own house, in her own bed? You would be aware of the dignity that would cause?”
Trolle replied: “Yes.”
The trial, before Lord Bracadale, will continue this morning.