Businessman sues estranged wife to stop RollsRoyce corruption inquiry pillow talk

The son of a wealthy Liberal Democrat donor is suing his wife to prevent her disclosing “pillow talk” about his part in a Rolls-Royce corruption inquiry.Bhanu Choudhrie is taking legal action against Simrin, his wife, to bar her from disclosing what he says are confidential details about the investigation and his business associates.The entrepreneur admits he disclosed confidential information to his wife after he was questioned as part of an investigation into claims of bribery by Rolls-Royce in 2014.Mr Choudhrie, 40, and his father Sudhir, 69 – who has donated more than £1.5 million to the Lib Dems since 2004 – were arrested and questioned by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in 2014 as part of an inquiry into bribery allegations at the Derby-based firm. They were released and have not been charged.The company, Europe’s largest maker of commercial jet engines, agreed in January 2017 to pay about £670 million to settle US and UK investigations into allegations its representatives bribed foreign officials.The deferred prosecution agreement reached by Rolls-Royce allows the company to avoid prosecution in exchange for full co-operation. But the SFO is now looking into allegations that Rolls-Royce illegally used middlemen such as Mr Choudhrie and his father to conduct deals. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Choudhrie’s lawsuit contains few details about what he told his wife or who he thinks she may talk to. He wants her to agree that she will not tell anyone what he told her, except her lawyers or if she is required by law or ordered by a court to do so.According to legal papers Mr Choudhrie only told his wife about the case so that she could “understand what he was going through”, and the information he told her was “obviously confidential”.In a statement, a spokesman for Mr Choudhrie said that he has “never embarked on any kind of illegal activity” and the lawsuit would not stop Mrs Choudhrie from co-operating.Mrs Choudhrie’s spokesman did not respond to a request to comment.An SFO spokesman declined to comment as did Rolls-Royce, other than to say it is “continuing to co-operate with the SFO”.Mrs Choudhrie filed for divorce in May 2017, but the couple continued to live together until November last year and are now going through divorce proceedings.Mr Choudhrie, who lives in a £20 million Grade II listed house in Belgravia, is seeking an order directing his wife to disclose the names of who she shared the information about his case with and what she used it for.   read more