Business

Gay Revelations Force Out BP Head

May 01, 2007 02:15 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
BP CEO John Browne resigns in response to a ruling from the highest U.K. legal authority that he cannot prevent a British newspaper from publishing details of his private life.

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For four months, Browne sought to prevent the Mail on Sunday from publishing his ex-lover’s account of their relationship. On May 1, the House of Lords, the second chamber in the U.K. parliament, voted against Browne’s appeal. He resigned the same day.

In a statement to the press, Browne admitted deceiving the court that ruled against him in February. He said “fears of embarrassment” prompted him to cover up the fact that he met Jeff Chevalier through an escort agency.

Browne may now face charges of perjury.

The exact details of Chevalier’s story are not yet known, but the court heard that Chevalier alleged that Browne betrayed his stockholders’ trust. The judge ruled that BP shareholders had a right to hear these claims even if they were “not accurate or exaggerated.”

Under Browne’s supervision, BP grew into one of the world’s largest oil interests. But the company’s recent past has been troubled. A deadly accident at a Texan refinery and a serious leak at an Alaskan pipeline have led to investigations into Browne’s management.

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