London – The woman who claims she was paralysed after being catapulted from a bed was having sex with a wealthy married businessman at the time, it has emerged.
Claire Busby, 46, was left wheelchair-bound after falling from the super king-size double divan as she made love with John Marshall, 55. She is suing the bed firm for a seven-figure sum.
Mr Marshall had been married to wife Sue, 48, for 19 years and they had been officially separated for only a matter of days when he began a relationship with Miss Busby.
One friend suggested the accident exposed the relationship because Mr Marshall had told his then-wife only that he was leaving their home near Alloa to become Miss Busby’s carer. He later returned to Scotland.
The friend said: "It wasn’t only Claire Busby’s life that was ruined that day, the fall-out from that incident devastated a family. When Claire fell off the bed and broke her back John said he was moving down to Surrey to look after her, which left Sue very upset.’ Divorce papers reportedly show the Marshalls separated on May 15, 2013. The High Court heard he met Miss Busby in Spain that same month.
Their relationship ‘took off’ after they went to the Chelsea Flower Show, which ran from May 21 to May 25 that year. Mr Marshall, whose family building firm Marshall Construction has a multi-million-pound turnover, insists that he and Miss Busby were not in a sexual relationship before he separated from his wife.
He said: "When that incident happened we were separated, I was not with Susan at the time and I want to make that very clear. Susan and I separated in May and the incident happened in August. All this is dragging things up unnecessarily, my life is bad enough and so is Claire’s."
Through his lawyer, he also said the relationship with Miss Busby began after the separation.
However the speed with which Mr Marshall got together with Miss Busby left Mrs Marshall, with whom he has two daughters, devastated, friends said.
Mr Marshall previously told London’s High Court, where his former partner is suing Beds Are Uzzz for £1million compensation (about R18 million), that at first, he thought the accident was funny.
He said he saw his lover roll backwards off the bed with her feet in the air in ‘slow motion’ while they were having sex.
Miss Busby, a beauty salon boss, suffered a serious spinal injury after she fell while changing positions. She is suing the bed supplier for compensation.
Mr Marshall has since married his third wife. Mrs Marshall declined to comment on the end of her marriage at her home in Auchterarder.
Asked whether her husband was still married to her during the incident that injured Miss Busby, she replied: "Yes, but it has nothing to do with me now.
"It did then, but it’s in the past. The case has dragged up a lot of things that we were trying to forget and it’s been very hard and very stressful."
Miss Busby, a mother of four, claims the bed was in a "defective state". The supplier denies any liability for her injuries and argues that the bed was properly assembled. A judgment in the case is expected soon.