“I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private. It is a matter of deep disappointment that a newspaper group has now decided that allegations about my personal life should be made public.” – British Petroleum Chairman John Browne, who resigned today after a British judge lifted the injunction stopping the press from publishing details about his four-year relationship with Canadian Jeff Chevalier, who’d sold his story to several tabloids.
In his court testimony, Chevalier revealed that he’d been kept by Browne, as they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. When the two separated, Chavalier returned to Canada, where Browne paid for a year’s rent plus apartment furnishings. Browne earned the ire of the court when he failed to reveal that he had met Chavalier through an escort service. Browne, who ended his 41-year career with BP to “avoid unnecessary embarrassment and distraction to the company”, had been scheduled to step down in July from one of the most powerful corporate positions in world. His early departure will cost him as much as $31M dollars, due to losing various bonuses and inclusion in a long-term performance plan.
Browne made news in 1997 when he became the first oil company head to acknowledge global warming and sought to reposition British Petroleum as a green company. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1988 and is a member of the House Of Lords.
Is this the most expensive outing in history?