Australian Peter Foster says he feels vindicated after learning British media may have hacked his phone, insisting he was not the source of personal stories about Tony and Cherie Blair.
The colourful Foster became a household name in Britain in 2002 over the so-called "Cheriegate" scandal, in which the then-prime minister's wife tried to cover up the Australian's role in buying two flats for her.
Foster, who knew the Blairs through his girlfriend at the time Carole Caplin, said Australian police visited him at home in Queensland on Friday to gather information for their British counterparts.
"I joked that it was nice to have federal police visit without a warrant," said Foster, who has previously spent time in prison in Australia, Britain and the United States for offences including marketing bogus slimming remedies.
"They told me they had been asked by Metropolitan Police in London to confirm if a mobile number was mine, which it was."
Foster said he suspected his phone was tapped after personal stories about Cherie Blair, including that she suffered a miscarriage in 2002, appeared in the press.
At the time Foster was the boyfriend of Caplin, a close confidante of Cherie Blair.
"We were all looking at each other as to who intentionally or accidentally let it out of the bag," Foster said in a statement issued late Sunday and quoted by the Australian Associated Press news agency.
"I even said to Carol 'You must have said something', and this was said back to me so there was this triangle where everybody was accusing each other.
"It was awful to think everyone was suspecting each other. Nobody likes to think their trust has been betrayed."
Foster said whenever he denied leaking to the media, people had been easily able to say: "Of course he would say that, he's a conman."
"Now we know our phones were being illegally intercepted," he said. "I guess I do feel vindicated but justice has come too late."
Cherie Blair last month launched legal action over the unlawful interception of her voicemails, reportedly against Rupert Murdoch's News International, and Foster said he also planned to sue over the alleged hacking.
The Australian Federal Police said they were unable to confirm or deny whether they visited Foster.
The scandal over the illegal interception of mobile phone voicemails saw Murdoch shut down the News of the World last July.
Source: AFP Asian Edition