London: James Bond's promiscuity could have caused lasting damage to Bond girls, a high court judge in the UK has said while ruling over a compensation case brought by women who unwittingly had relationships with police spies.
Considering the case of a group of environmental activists who claim they were tricked into forming relationships with covert officers, justice Tugendhat cited Bond as the best known fictional example of an intelligence services member who used relationships with women for his own professional ends.
"Since he was writing a light entertainment, Ian Fleming did not dwell on the extent to which his hero used deception, still less upon the psychological harm he might have done to the women concerned," the judge was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.
"But fictional accounts - and there are others - lend credence to the view that the intelligence and police services have for many years deployed both men and women officers to form personal relationships of an intimate sexual nature, whether or not they were physical relationships , in order to obtain information or access," he said.
The case centres on the claims of 10 women and one man who are seeking compensation for emotional trauma allegedly caused by officers infiltrating activist groups.
The women say they had a sexual relationship with a man who was later discovered to be a covert human intelligence source, while the male claimant alleges a non-sexual relationship.
Some of the claimants said they had relationships with Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer who spent seven years spying on environmental activists posing as a long-haired dropout climber called Mark "Flash" Stone.
The group argue their human right to respect for their private lives was breached. On Wednesday, the judge agreed they could proceed with their high court damages action.
Valerie Leon, a star of the Bond films "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Never Say Never Again", said, "Back then we didn't question it. Bond was what all women wanted and all men wanted to be. But we live in a different world now."