Tulisa Contostavlos yesterday said her ex-boyfriend Justin Edwards had “messed with the wrong woman” after she won an apology from him over a sex tape which appeared on the internet.
The singer and TV talent show judge – who is 24 today – was at London’s High Court to accept the “sincere apologies” from rap artist Edwards, who initially denied being responsible for the tape appearing on the web.
Her solicitor, Jonathan Coad, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that the invasion of Miss Contostavlos’s privacy “was of the most severe kind imaginable”.
“She suffered and continues to suffer very serious distress at this wholly unjustified and unlawful interference with her rights.
“She has been particularly distressed by the wholly untrue allegation made by some that she was in some way complicit with the release of the footage.
“She was not, as this statement makes clear.”
Mr Coad said that Edwards, who was not present but accepted all that was said on behalf of Miss Contostavlos, had also agreed not to speak further in public about their relationship.
Outside court, Miss Contostavlos said: “I am relieved that this is finally over. It has been a very testing few months and this was not a case I ever wanted to go through.
“Justin Edwards’s actions were to spite me, make money and ruin my career. He has succeeded in none of these things.
“I stand here today a stronger, wiser young woman who has taken this experience and learnt from it.
“I am disgusted by Justin and saddened by the people that believed I released the footage myself.
“Today the truth has prevailed. After months of lying to the public and lying in court, Justin has finally admitted to being guilty and I hope justice is served.
“I would now like to draw a line under this and put it in the past.
“I also would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the fans that stood by me.
“I’m especially grateful for all the support I have received from the public, my friends, family and team.
“With that support and my determination I have won this battle. Justin messed with the wrong woman.”
Miss Contostavlos, who shot to fame as a member of hip hop group N-Dubz and landed a high-profile role as a judge on The X Factor, had an on-off relationship with Edwards which ended in late 2009.
Mr Coad said that during the relationship, she permitted Edwards to take video footage of an intimate and sexual nature of her on a mobile phone “in an incident of which she still has no recollection”.
Edwards retained the video footage after the break-up and controlled the rights in it.
In October 2010, he entered into an agreement with a third party for its commercial exploitation and, from January this year, that third party entered into a joint venture with a number of other third parties for its online exploitation.
“The intention of those involved in this joint venture, which led to the online publication of the footage on March 17 this year, was to earn a very substantial sum of money by charging $5.99 to individuals wishing to download the footage.
“They anticipated over a million downloads and consequently income of over $6m.
“They were however disappointed to discover that on the first day that the video was available for download they had earned only $35. The enterprise appears to have been a complete commercial failure.
“Despite that, the footage was republished throughout the internet and within days it had been seen by countless people for free.”
Mr Coad said that Miss Contostavlos accepted that Edwards genuinely regretted what he had done, but remained determined to continue her claim against the others involved in exploiting her privacy.
He added that Edwards was now keen to move on and wished Miss Contostavlos well for the future.