Gordon Ramsay’s father-in-law and three of his family members have been charged over allegations of computer hacking dating back seven years to the time of a bitter dispute involving the celebrity chef, Scotland Yard said.
The Met police on Tuesday charged Chris Hutcheson, who was for years the chief executive of Ramsay’s company that ran his restaurants and other business interests, and Hutcheson’s sons Adam and Chris and daughter Orlanda Butland.
The Met said in a statement: “The charges follow allegations that between 23 October 2010 and 3 March 2011, they conspired together to cause a computer to access programs and data held in any computer without authority, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.”
In October 2010, Hutcheson, 68, was sacked by Ramsay as chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings.
The following year the pair ended up in a high court battle, with Ramsay alleging his computers had been hacked, and blaming Hutcheson amid claims that emails between Ramsay and his wife, Tana, had been read by a third party as part of a bitter family dispute.
Ramsay has restaurants around the world and a television career in the UK and US. Famed for a short temper and for swearing seemingly as much as he chops a carrot, his businesses ran into trouble after years of expansion.
They have since been restructured and Hutcheson’s interests were bought out by Ramsay, to sever all ties after the court wrangle and family feud.
Ramsay and Tana married in 1996 and have four children. Tana is understood to have cut off contact with her father and his family some years ago.
The Met said the charges followed an investigation by detectives from Operation Tuleta, one of several investigations launched following revelations of phone hacking involving the media.
The operation’s main focus was the illegal interception of messages on computers, which can be done in several ways, including the installation of spyware.
The four charged will appear at Westminster magistrates court on 14 March.