Four years ago, I shared a twin room in a hotel with a male friend of mine, J. The decision to have one rather than separate rooms was taken purely on cost grounds and not because we were having any kind of sexual relationship. Suggestions that we were are false, baseless and highly upsetting to J, who got married just two weeks after the night in question.
The fact that I also booked several other twin rooms in the same hotel, also to be shared by pairs of male friends, should not be interpreted as meaning that I had organised some sort of weekend of illicit gay coupling.
The fact that this took place in Brighton, a city renowned for its gay scene, is of absolutely no significance.
The fact that J described me at the time as his “best man” reflects only my unofficial job title at the time and not any romantically or sexually motivated evalution.
The fact that, two weeks later, I made a wedding speech that was by turns affectionate and mocking towards J is no basis for suspicion of anything improper. The affection was purely platonic and the mockery was in no way a bluff to conceal any kind of closer relationship.
The fact that J and I were both wearing skirts at the time can be easily explained by the fact that the wedding took place in Scotland. I believe they are known as ‘kilts’ and reflect an ancient warrior tradition rather than any urge to experiment with gender roles and sexuality.
I accept that my actions could be misrepresented by irresponsible journalists, as they now have been. In hindsight I should have given greater consideration to what might have been made of that, but this is in itself no justification for allegations of this kind, which are untrue and deeply distressing to me, to J and to his wife.
I did, however, once wear a baseball cap.