A British businessman jailed for having sex with a magazine publisher on a Dubai beach has said many of the media reports about his case were exaggerated and some were ‘complete lies’.
Vince Acors was deported to the UK on Christmas Eve after his three-month jail term for public indecency and having unmarried sex with ITP Publishing executive Michelle Palmer was suspended on appeal.
The pair were arrested on a beach in the early hours of 5 July. Acors had attended one of the Emirate’s popular Friday all-you-can-drink champagne brunches and said he had later met Palmer at another venue.
At a press conference in London this morning, Acors, who was in Dubai on a three-day business trip, said he hoped to sell his story to help him pay off about £25,000 in legal costs.
He denied reports that he and Palmer had sexual intercourse, but said there had been some “physical contact”. He added: “We just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Acors also dismissed reports that the pair had been warned about their behaviour earlier that evening.
“Because of the worldwide publicity, I feel that the Dubai authorities had no real choice other than to find us guilty in this situation,” Acors said.
“We’ve not given any interviews at all. The only material they’ve had so far has been from third parties.
“The majority of stories haven’t carried 10 per cent of the story. A large majority have been untrue.”
Palmer was also convicted of indecency and unmarried sex but had her jail sentence cancelled by a Dubai judge. Her contract with ITP, where she had worked for two-and-a-half years as an associate publisher, was terminated.
ITP employs 600 staff from 20 countries, including a large number of UK journalists and commercial staff working on titles including Middle East versions of Harper’s Bazaar and Time Out.
After the incident came to light, ITP issued a statement in which it said it had always warned staff about staying on the right side of local laws, but that it was the responsibility of each individual employee to respect the local culture.
‘Dubai and the UAE provide a tolerant, safe, liberal and rewarding environment for millions of expats,’the company said.
‘ITP expects its staff to behave appropriately and properly in a manner consistent with the moral and cultural values of the society in which we all live and work.
‘The company gives its staff clear guidance regarding what is and what is not acceptable in the UAE environment when they join the company.”