Imogen Mary Thomas (born 29 November 1982) is a Welsh glamour model, beauty queen and television personality. She rose to fame in 2003, after winning Miss Wales, and achieved further note in 2006, when she lasted three months on the seventh series of reality TV series Big Brother.
Imogen was born to Charles Thomas, an education welfare officer, and his wife Janette in Gorseinon, near Swansea, South Wales. Her parents separated when she was two years old, and, after her mother remarried when she was six, she was brought up by her mother and step-father in Llanelli, South Wales. She speaks Welsh fluently. Thomas has a sister, Alana. Thomas developed alopecia when she was six, losing chunks of her hair.
Thomas started working as a model at age 13, and at the age of 17 moved to London to become a professional model. Working in bars to pay for her living costs, she was rejected by many modelling agencies due to her height.
She reluctantly returned to her studies, and gained a degree in Health studies and Psychology at the University of Worcester. During this period she entered beauty contests, and was crowned Miss Wales in 2003, beating future Big Brother 9 winner Rachel Rice, who came third. She went on to represent Wales at Miss World in China. This prompted her to return to London to try glamour modelling, and also working as a bar hostess at London's Sanderson Hotel.
Thomas had a relationship with American model Tyson Beckford, whom she first met at the Sanderson Hotel. Since her appearance on Big Brother she has dated Russell Brand, polo player Jamie Morrisson, and footballers Matthew Collins of Swansea City, Nery Castillo of Aris FC and Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe.
In July 2009, it was reported that Thomas was diagnosed with swine flu following a holiday in Marbella. On return to the UK, she was quarantined in her flat.
Thomas actively supports the children's hospice, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in June 2011 for them.
In April 2011, Thomas was reported in The Sun to have had a six-month relationship with an unnamed and married Premier League footballer. A gagging order, known as CTB v News Group Newspapers, was granted in the High Court of England and Wales by Mr Justice Eady, preventing the footballer from being named in the media; it was reported in non-UK media sources that the footballer in question was Ryan Giggs. Thomas subsequently took advice from publicist Max Clifford, who commented: “Imogen never had any desire nor intention to sell her story, however if she had and was able to name the footballer she could easily command £250,000".
On 22 May 2011, the Sunday Herald, a Scottish newspaper, published a thinly disguised photograph of Giggs on its front page, effectively ending the anonymous court order CTB v News Group Newspapers involving Imogen Thomas. The paper added in its editorial column, "Today we identify the footballer whose name has been linked to a court superinjunction by thousands of postings on Twitter. Why? Because we believe it is unsustainable that the law can be used to prevent newspapers from publishing information that readers can access on the internet at the click of a mouse." On 23 May 2011, Giggs was identified in the House of Commons as the footballer concerned.
On 15 December 2011, Mr Justice Eady accepted that Thomas had not attempted to blackmail the footballer Ryan Giggs, and suggested "There is no longer any point in maintaining the anonymity." The injunction preventing the naming of Giggs remained in place. Thomas stated after the court hearing: "I'm just relieved that the parties and the court now accept that I'm no blackmailer. I have been vindicated and that's all I wanted. I have nothing to add – it's all behind me now." On 21 February 2012 Giggs agreed to his name being revealed, and admitted Thomas did not try to blackmail him.
On 5 August 2012, Thomas announced she was pregnant with her first child with Australian boyfriend Adam Horsley. She gave birth to a daughter Ariana in February 2013.