Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has lost a High Court battle with his father-in-law, over the rent of a £640,000-a-year London pub.
Ramsay had claimed that Christopher Hutcheson had used a “ghost-writing” machine to forge his signature on a property deal for the York & Albany Pub near Regent's Park without his authorisation.
The Kitchen Nightmares star claimed he should not be held responsible for the 25-year lease, which was signed in 2007.
But the High Court disagreed.
Mr Justice Morgan said Hutcheson was “acting within the wide general authority conferred on him by Mr Ramsay at all times until Mr Hutcheson's dismissal in October 2010," according to the Press Association.
He added: "Mr Ramsay may now regret the transaction in relation to the premises. He may particularly regret his involvement as a guarantor.
"He may consider that Mr Hutcheson did a bad deal. However, on any finding, he is not able to say that Mr Hutcheson exceeded his authority in any respect.
"I hold that Mr Ramsay, acting though his agent Mr Hutcheson, is bound by the guarantee in the lease of the premises."
Ramsay's wife of nearly 20 years Tana told the court of the “shock on Gordon's face” when he discovered he would be personally liable for the rent. The ghost-writing machine reproduced his signature, allowing other people to sign merchandise.
“It did not even occur to me that the machine might be used to sign Gordon's signature on anything else,” she added.