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A Rogue's Gallery
IAN STRACHAN was jailed for blackmailing a member of the Royal Family over allegations of a sex and drugs ‘scandal’. But a media blackout ensured that little of the substance of the case was reported.
Jason O'Toole, 06 May 2009
We will leave it to readers to make up their own minds as to the guilt or otherwise of Ian Strachan, who continues to robustly protest his innocence, insisting that he never blackmailed anyone. But there is another perspective on all of this. What is it that leaves people exposed to potential blackmail attempts? A significant element has to do with a combination of outmoded laws and social conventions that are at best highly questionable.
Hot Press has campaigned for the legalisation of drugs, including cocaine – which features in one of the clips seen by us. Is there anything wrong with using cocaine as the royal ‘aide’ does in the recording? Only that it is against the law. And there is certainly nothing wrong with having gay sex, which in any event is an entirely private and personal matter. That is until it becomes part of the kiss’n’tell culture fostered, in particular, by the UK tabloids. For, in a sense, it is the saleability of material of this kind, and the willingness of media to buy it, which is at the heart of this story.
There is another twist. The aide, who was employed in his furniture business by Viscount Linley, is on film snorting from a series of white lines, and he subsequently admitted the use of drugs in a statement to the police. While it is Hot Press’ view that this should not be a chargeable offence, there is still more than a hint of hypocrisy about the fact that no charges were pursued in this instance by the police – suggesting that there is one law for the friends of royals and another for the rest.
These are the subtexts to a story of sexual intrigue and ultimately betrayal. The controversial Italian Giovanni Di Stefano is Ian Strachan’s lawyer. He explained that Strachan, who is in a low security prison, is entitled to five days leave each month and was interested in talking to me. A few days later, I hooked up with the by now infamous socialite, for his first ever in-depth interview.
Strachan, whose real name is Paul Adalsteinsson, has a gentle touch of a Scottish brogue in his polished accent. He happily filled me in on his own background.