Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has abandoned an injunction to prevent allegations about his private life being published, he said.

The gagging order prevented the publication of personal details, including a claim that he had an affair with his first wife, Alexandra Hall, while married to his current wife Frances.

Explaining why he took out the injunction at the High Court in last autumn, the BBC star told the Daily Mail: “One, most importantly, injunctions don’t work. You take out an injunction against somebody or some organisation and immediately news of that injunction and the people involved and the story behind the injunction is in a legal-free world on Twitter and the internet. It’s pointless.”

He continued: “Secondly, you used to be able to take out an injunction and then just sit on it. But as a result of a recent court case you are now ultimately forced by the courts to go to trial, which is unbelievably expensive.

“If you win, news leaks out on the internet. If you lose, you then get raped by your opponent’s legal fees. I regretted doing it from the day I took the injunction out to this morning. There is also an assumption of guilt which goes hand in hand with an injunction.”

It is claimed that the injunction banned the media from reporting ‘sexual or other intimate acts or dealings’ between the star and his first wife as well as the Top Gear presenter’s ‘private thoughts and feelings, his health and other financial affairs’.

Asked about the allegations, the presenter told the Daily Express: “She now has the right to say what she wants. And you can choose whether or not to believe her.”