A former boyfriend of the socialite and model Tamara Ecclestone tried to blackmail her for £200,000, a court has been told.
Derek Rose was in a relationship with the daughter of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone when she was 17. Rose, 33, went out with Ms Ecclestone, 28, in 2002 before he changed his name by deed poll from Jonathan Ketterman.
Southwark Crown Court heard that Rose and media studies student Jakir Uddin, 20, plotted together to blackmail Ms Ecclestone and drafted an email together which they sent to her manager Dana Malmstrom.
The email was sent on November 16, 2011 after Ms Ecclestone had starred in Billion Dollar Girl, a reality television programme exploring her life as a rich youngster, and after she had generated publicity in charity campaigns.
The jury of seven men and five women was told Uddin sent the email purporting to be Rose's official representative. William Boyce QC said: "The defendants were in this together."
The email said: "While my client has not spoken about Tamara in 10 years and has let her live her life we have been approached by a major tabloid with a life changing offer of £200,000 to go ahead with the story and disclose all...
"My client has asked me to contact you to explain what he is going through and what the press are intending to do. My client is a quiet family man and he doesn't need the headache of this story coming out because it would be embarrassing for both our clients."
The barrister said the email went on with "pernicious" implications about damage to Ms Ecclestone's reputation. Part of the email was written in bold but not read out in court. It referred to an "incident". The tone of it was "you don't really want that in the press whether it's true or not", said Mr Boyce.
The defendants allegedly wrote they would be happy to discuss "a non-release fee" and sign a confidentiality contract. But they also gave a deadline of the following Friday when they claimed they had to answer the tabloid's offer.
Rose, of Arlington Road, Camden, London, and Uddin, of Old Walsall Road, Birmingham, both deny blackmail.