Xpose star Glenda Gilson has told a court she is anxious that punishment arising from her involvement with her brother Damien’s luxury car firm, which was allegedly avoiding tax, will prevent future work for her.
The model and tv presenter told the High Court yesterday that she is ‘deeply fearful’ that any company ban ‘may have a significant adverse impact upon the evolution of my career’. She explained that following her showbiz tv work, her long-term goal is to set up a media production business.
Ms Gilson was in court to fight attempts to ban her from acting as a company director and pleaded with a judge not to punish her for becoming involved in her sibling’s luxury car firm.
She insisted that she had simply ‘relied on my trust and my love of my brother’ [Damien] when she became a non-executive director of Gilson Motor Company Ltd when she was in her mid-twenties.
The court heard how she had joined the company in 2005 because her brother needed a minimum of two directors.
Pleading with Judge Paul Gilligan for a second chance, she assured him that she would not make the same ‘unintended errors’ in the future.
In 2012, the High Court heard that the Gilson Motor Company owed the Revenue Commissioners more than €140,000 in unpaid taxes. Gary Lennon had been appointed to liquidate the firm in 2011.
Arising out of the liquidation, Mr Lennon wants the court to make orders under the 1990 Companies Act seeking to have Damien Gilson disqualified from acting as a company director for five years.
In the alternative he seeks an order to have certain restriction imposed on Mr Gilson from acting as a company director, also for a period of five years.
In relation to Ms Gilson, Mr Lennon seeks to have certain restrictions on her involvement in a company for five years unless the firm meets certain capitalisation requirements.
Yesterday Judge Gilligan first asked Damien Gilson – who sat opposite to his sister in the courtroom – what attitude he was taking to the case against him.
Mr Gilson replied: ‘I’m unemployed. I have no money to pay for a solicitor.’ Asked was he resisting the application to disqualify him, he said: ‘No.’
According to Mr. Lennon, hundreds of thousands of euro was allegedly lodged to accounts in 2010 and 2011 ‘for the purpose of deliberately avoiding paying taxes’.
He has accused Ms Gilson of failing to ‘keep herself informed’ about the firm’s affairs, or to ensure that proper books and records were being kept.
The model’s argument is that she was too young to understand what she was signing up to, and that she had no involvement in the running of the business since its inception.
Martin Hayden SC for Glenda Gilson said his client was opposing the application on grounds including that she had “no hand, act or part” in the running of the business. It was accepted she gained no personal benefit from it.
It was always understood that she was to be a non executive director. She now accepted that this may not have been the most “prudent” decision, counsel added.
Mr Justice Paul Gilligan reserved his decision for a later date.