Sex therapist who locked himself in his boyfriend’s £1.2m home and refused to leave until he was promised £250k in break-up must wait until his ex-lover DIES to claim the cash after losing court battle
- Former lovers faced off in court over the sale of £1.2million home in Fulham
- Thain Kleinhentz insisted couple were in ‘relationship’ and was promised £250k
- Judge ruled that he must wait until Mark Harrison dies to claim cash gift
A sex therapist who locked himself in his boyfriend’s bedroom and ‘refused to leave’ until he was promised £250,000 after they split may have to wait for his ex-lover to die before he can claim the sum.
Counsellor and sexual health adviser Thain Kleinhentz said he and Mark Harrison had a 20-year-long ‘loving relationship’ during which they lived together in a £1.2million house in west London.
Their relationship culminated in Mr Harrison signing a document in 2011 promising Mr Kleinhentz a five-figure payout after they split.
But the pair later faced off in the High Court after Mr Harrison claimed the pair never had a serious relationship and said Mr Kleinhentz was technically a ‘tenant’ paying rent at the house he owned outright.
He also claimed he was ‘bullied’ into signing the ‘homemade’ contract by Mr Kleinhentz who sulked in his bedroom until the promise was made.
Judge Robin Vos has now ruled that the former couple did have a long-term romantic relationship and said the contract is valid.
But he said Mr Harrison is under no obligation to give Mr Kleinhentz a penny now and may not have to do so until he is dead.
Counsellor and sexual health adviser Thain Kleinhentz (left) said he and Mark Harrison (right) had a ‘loving relationship’ during which they lived together in a £1.2million house in London
The judge heard that Mr Kleinhentz and Mr Harrison met and became lovers in 1991 and subsequently lived and had pets together during a sexual relationship which continued over a number of years.
They fell out in 2011 while living in a three-bed detached house in Margravine Gardens, Fulham, which was bought in Mr Harrison’s sole name using money given to him by his father.
Mr Kleinhentz moved out of the property after an incident during which he ‘placed a lock on the door of the room he occupied… and refused to vacate the property until such time as Mark made substantial financial provision for him,’ his barrister, Edward Bennion-Pedley, said.
Mr Kleinhentz later sued, insisting his former lover was obliged under the 2011 contract to give him £250,000 now, from the sale of the Fulham house in 2015.
Defending the action, Mr Harrison claimed they never had a serious monogamous relationship and Mr Kleinhentz was technically just a ‘tenant,’ paying rent at the house which he himself owned outright.
The home in Fulham which is owned by Mark Harrison and sold for £1,212,500 in May 2015
From the witness box, he told the judge: ‘There was a relationship of sorts… I did care about him. We had sex regularly over a period of years and lived together.
‘But if I were to have a boyfriend, my idea wouldn’t be to have him sleeping with lots of other people. Most people’s idea of having a boyfriend would be two people being together.
‘He was my best friend. Flatmate is a rather sterile term for it, but I suppose factual.’
Denying that locking himself in his room amounted to applying ‘illegitimate pressure,’ Mr Kleinhentz’s barrister said: ‘There is nothing illegitimate about asserting that Mark was under a moral obligation to Thain or in Thain refusing to move out.
‘Very naturally he wished to protect his property interests.’
Challenging Mr Harrison’s denial of the pair having a long-term romantic relationship, the barrister pointed to cards and presents they received from friends and family when they moved into new houses together, including a bedspread.
‘These are joint cards to a couple when they move… those are gifts that you give to a couple when they set up home together,’ he said.
He also told the judge that Mr Harrison had sent Mr Kleinhentz a postcard while he was away from their home, telling him: ‘I’m really going to miss you, all my love, Your Puppy.’
Ruling, Judge Vos found that the pair had a ‘boyfriends’ relationship and that the contract was valid.
The former lovers battled it out at the High Court in London (pictured)
But Mr Kleinhentz is not currently due a penny from his ex.
‘The 2011 agreement is valid and binding,’ he said in his judgment.
‘It requires Mark to make a payment of at least £250,000 to Thain, but only if he receives a gift from his father after the date of the agreement which he is free to deal with as he wishes or, alternatively, when he receives any inheritance from his father.
‘The terms of the 2011 agreement also require Mark to have in place a will leaving a gift of at least £250,000 to Thain, irrespective of whether he has received any further funds from his father.’
The sale of the house did not trigger the terms of the contract, despite the purchase money having come from Mr Harrison’s father, because that gift pre-dated the contract, he said.
The judge also found there was ‘no common intention that Thain should have a beneficial interest’ in the house the two men had shared.
‘The receipt of those sale proceeds by Mark did not therefore trigger his obligation under the 2011 agreement to make any payment,’ the judge said, concluding that Mr Kleinhentz’s claims against his ex were ‘therefore dismissed in their entirety.’
The ruling means that Mr Kleinhentz has to wait for his ex-boyfriend to die before getting the £250,000 he was promised and inheriting the money under the will the contract obliges Mr Harrison to make.
During a later hearing the judge ordered Mr Kleinhentz to pick up some of his ex’s legal costs for fighting the case leaving him with a bill of around £60,000 while Mr Harrison must pay his own lawyers around £40,000.
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