From Times Online
By David Brown and Patrick Foster
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The chief executive of BP resigned yesterday after a judge found that he had lied to a court about his gay relationship with a 27-year-old student.
Lord Browne of Madingley, who was ennobled by Tony Blair, quit after the House of Lords rejected his attempt to keep secret their relationship and allegations that he had misused company resources.
The businessman will lose up to £15.5 million in cash and shares by stepping down three months earlier than planned.
Lord Browne was forced to resign after court documents showed that he had:
— Lied to the High Court about how he met his former lover, Jeff Chevalier, whom he said he had met while “exercising in Battersea Park”;
— Used BP resources and staff to set up a company for his boyfriend;
— Attempted to “trash” the reputation of Mr Chevalier in court by claiming that he was a drug user and alcoholic;
— Allegedly told Mr Chevalier details about his discussions on BP’s strategy with Mr Blair and Gordon Brown
What timing for this to come out now. Dina McGreevey (the wife of Jim McGreevey, the gay guy that admitted to being governor of New Jersey) was recently on Oprah and is releasing a memoir. On top of that, we have the Ted Haggard scandal. You remember Haggard. He was an evangelical pastor that railed against homosexuality while having a three-year, meth-fueled affair with a male prostitute. These three, and we’ll reserve judgment, are in tough spots. It can be argued that they are not being persecuted specifically because they are gay, but because of all the extra-curricular activity that they were into. On the other hand, life cannot be simple with huge secrets like this.
Had Haggard been having a meth-sex relationship with a female prostitute would there have been the same backlash? Doubtful. Had McGreevey and, allegedly, John Browne had hetero-affairs (plus other assorted malfeasance) would they be in as much trouble? Likely. Paul Wolfowitz, Director of The World Bank, is being raked over the coals for providing a high-paying job to his girlfriend. It looks like his affair (and subsequent shenanigans) will cost Lord Browne at least $30 million. Maybe honesty is the best policy, but is the world ready for openly gay leaders?
This places John Browne behind Ian McKellen and Elton John as our third favorite openly gay member of the English Gentry.
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