The former wife of football legend Shay Given is locked into a court battle with her ex-fiancé over whether she should return an Aston Martin and £300,000 engagement ring.
Jane Given, 47, claims she should be able to keep the £200,000 supercar and lavish ring as they were ‘gifts’ given to her by her former lover, businessman Andrew Ralph, despite dumping him and breaking off their engagement.
The former model began a relationship with Mr Ralph, 54, in February 2018, after splitting from Republic of Ireland and Premier League goalkeeper Shay, who she shares two children with, in 2013.
During their relationship, Ms Given and Mr Ralph planned to get married and he bought her an Aston Martin DBX, similar to one he owned himself ‘so that they could have matching cars’ in ‘matching colours’.
Mr Ralph also handed her an engagement ring he claimed is worth almost £300,000 during a holiday in Barbados in December 2019.
Ms Given ended the relationship in December 2020 and now her ex-fiancé is suing her in a bid to make her give him the ring and the car back.
Jane Given, 47, (pictured) is in a court battle over whether she should return a £200,000 Aston Martin and £300,000 engagement ring to her former fiancé Andrew Ralph
Andrew Ralph, 54, (pictured) said his former fiancé Jane Given should return a £200,000 Aston Martin and £300,000 engagement ring given to her because they were ‘wedding presents’ and the wedding did not take place
Former Ireland and Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given and his ex-wife Jan pictured in 2012
He claims the car was ‘a wedding present’ and since the wedding between them did not take place it should be returned to him.
His lawyers also said that it was ‘expressly and/or impliedly agreed that the defendant would return the engagement ring if the marriage did not proceed’.
But Ms Given is fighting the case, claiming that both the ring and the supercar were ‘gifts’ that her ex has no right to now claim back.
WhatsApp messages are now set to take centre stage as evidence in the court battle between the former couple as to who is the owner of the items, worth £500,000.
Mr Justice Freedman, giving judgment in a preliminary hearing at London’s High Court, said he had been shown ‘various WhatsApp messages’ between the former couple ‘which are said to be informative of the intention of the parties’.
He said that Ms Given ‘relies upon’ the WhatsApp messages ‘as evidence’ that the car and ring were handed over to her as ‘an absolute gift’ and cannot be reclaimed by her ex.
‘For example, on Monday 19 October 2020 with pictures of the car, Mr Ralph wrote ‘It’s your car! Xx’ and ‘Just enjoy your holiday and ill (sic) have it on the drive for your return’ and ‘Amazing wedding pressie and amazing timing so pleased x’,’ the judge added.
Ms Given (pictured) is the former wife of Irish footballing legend Shay Given and is now locked in a court battle with her ex-fiancé
Mr Ralph bought a £200,000 Aston Martin (pictured) by his former fiancé Jane Given during their nearly three-year relationship
However he went on to say that there was also WhatsApp evidence relied upon by Mr Ralph to back his claim.
After the breakup ‘in a WhatsApp, Mr Ralph wrote within hours of the defendant leaving him: ‘I’m booked to land Friday and will collect my car, my things and take back the ring so it can be sold.
‘As a gentleman I will give you half the money (which pays for school fees) and the £80,000 back. Good night’,’ the judge said.
Mr Ralph had also ‘announced by email to Ms Given that he would be attending her home in the UK to take the DBX and he said: ‘DBX – this had intended to be a wedding gift.
‘There has and will not be a wedding and the car is in my name and so remains mine. I will collect it on Saturday*’. He also claimed the engagement ring, saying that he would split the proceeds as a goodwill gesture.’
But Ms Given’s lawyers replied, telling her ex: ‘With regard to the DBX car, we are informed your client had this built for her and presented it to her as a gift, complete with registration number. The engagement ring was also gifted to our client.’
Mr Ralph’s lawyers shot back: ‘Whilst the vehicle was intended to be a wedding gift, the reality is that the wedding did not take place. In the circumstances, the vehicle was never gifted to your client.’
Setting out the dispute over the ring, the judge said: ‘The claimant pleads that it was expressly and/or impliedly agreed that the defendant would return the engagement ring if the marriage did not proceed.
‘This is disputed: the defendant denies that there was any such agreement and contends that the gift of the ring was simply an absolute gift.’
Ms Given claims the items, worth £500,000, were given to her as gifts which her ex has no right to now claim back
Mr Ralph made an application for summary judgment in relation to the car, asking the court to hand it back to him without having to go to a full trial.
But Mr Justice Freedman said that the arguments were too complex to be decided without a full court fight.
‘This is a case which arises out of a relationship between two people Andrew Ralph and Jane Given,’ he said.
‘They became engaged, but before they got married, the relationship came to an end.
‘They both enjoyed expensive cars. There are disputes between the parties as to what promises or gifts, if any, were made or conferred by the claimant on the defendant.’
Dismissing Mr Ralph’s applications, he said: ‘I have concluded that the defendant has at lowest a real prospect of success in fact and in law both in defending the claims of the claimant and in maintaining her counterclaims.
‘For the reasons set out above, the claimant’s application for summary judgment in respect of the DBX and the associated items must fail.’
The former lovers will now face each other across court in a full trial unless they can settle out of court beforehand.