Jennifer Arcuri has claimed she and Boris Johnson had a four-year affair during which she sent him “arty” topless pictures, as she admitted that she “adored” the prime minister.
The American businesswoman said they met up once a week at the start of the affair, and professed to a mutual “physical and intellectual attraction” with Johnson in a bombshell interview with the Mirror.
Arcuri revealed that the pair shared a love of Shakespeare, and that she codenamed Johnson Alexander the Great. The prime minister, she added, “couldn’t keep his hands off me”.
But she accused Johnson of being a “cowardly wet noodle” for not standing by her in a row over her controversial presence on foreign trade trips.
Arcuri, 35, said her romance with Boris, who was Mayor of London at the time, lasted from 2012 to 2016, while he was married to ex-wife Marina Wheeler – the mother of for of his children.
Questions about the pair’s relationship first surfaced two years ago when it emerged that Arcuri was allowed on three taxpayer-funded trade missions led by Johnson.
“We were in an intimate relationship for four years,” she said. “I loved him, and with good cause. But the man I thought I knew doesn’t exist any more.”
In the explosive interview, Arcuri revealed:
- Over dinner at a London restaurant, Johnson told her: “I want to date you, you’re the only American I’ve ever fancied.”
- They first slept together in her Shoreditch flat hours before he sat between his wife and Pricess Anne at the opening of the London Paralympic Games in 2012.
- She sent him pictures so “raunchy” that it was “enough to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window”.
- He borrowed £3.10 from her on their first date, and dismissed concerns about kissing in public, saying: “This is my city, I don’t care.”
Besides the juicy details, Arcuri’s revelations raise questions over how taxpayer cash was spent – and whether Johnson breached a mayoral code of conduct.
A Greater London Authority probe will examine whether the prime minister behaved with “honesty and integrity”, and whether Arcuri was given “preferential treatment”.
Johnson spoke at a number of tech events organised by Arcuri, who went on to receive £126,000 of taxpayer money in sponsorships and grants. The bulk, a £100,000 government grant, came in 2019.
Arcuri said Johnson was “a child” after he failed to stand up for her amid accusations of favouritism.
“He just took the most cowardly, wet noodle of approaches. This is who he is and it’s about time we recognised that,” she said.
“A great leader is charismatic, courageous and brave. None of these words I would use to describe Boris Johnson.”