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London - Given that its hero is a remarkably handsome billionaire, the racy book was never likely to be all that well received by the chaps.
But one British man was so put out by his other half’s fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey that he decided to spice up her life himself - by squirting brown sauce in her face.
The outburst landed Raymond Hodgson, 31, in the dock for common assault and resulted in a six-month community order, a £185 fine - and, perhaps unsurprisingly, a reassessment of his relationship.
Despite all of this, on Tuesday night he insisted he was simply showing long-term partner Emma McCormick the “true meaning of saucy”.
Hodgson, who pleaded guilty to the single charge on Monday, said he was appalled when he discovered that McCormick, 30, had been reading EL James’s erotic novel, which has become the fastest-selling paperback of all time.
The couple, who have been together for five years, began rowing about its suitability.
Adrienne Harris, prosecuting, said: “Mr Hodgson thought that the book was pornographic, and that she should not read such literature. The argument continued into the following day, with the two exchanging text messages.
“He (Hodgson) then went to her home at 7pm on June 26 and took with him a bottle of brown sauce.
“She answered the door and the argument continued. She went to close the door and he jammed his foot into the door, slapped her once in the face, and then squirted her with this bottle of sauce.”
When interviewed by the police, Hodgson said he felt Fifty Shades of Grey was a “distasteful” and “pornographic” book.
“He said he had every intention of squirting sauce over McCormick, but he now regrets having done this, realising how stupid it sounds,” added Harris.
“He didn’t realise that the sauce incident would be classed as an assault. He is sorry for his actions.”
The couple, who live with their respective parents near Carlisle, are now said to be re-evaluating their relationship.
Malcolm Dodds, mitigating, said Hodgson denied slapping his girlfriend during the doorstep row but admitted squirting her in the face with the bottle of brown sauce.
“He lost his temper - and went round to her home armed with a bottle of brown sauce, which he should never have done,” Dodds told Carlisle Magistrates’ Court. “Emma says it stung her eyes and it was all over the walls, which she had to clean up afterwards.
“I’ve spoken to Raymond and he’s extremely sorry about it. He was angry that she suggested he slapped her because he hadn’t.”
District judge Gerald Chalk said Hodgson’s actions had clearly been intended to demean McCormick.
He ordered him to pay his victim £100 compensation and £85 towards prosecution costs.
The judge also imposed a 6pm to 8am curfew for the next six weeks and a six-month community order.
Outside court Hodgson stood by his views on the book and branded it “wrong”. Yet so far, the novel has netted its author - real name Erika Leonard - around £6.5 million.
The book’s racy plot follows the relationship between naive graduate Anastasia Steele and wealthy Christian Grey, who introduces her to sadomasochism and bondage. - Daily Mail