It seems rather appropriate, but a man who once wrote a book about obsessive fans is now so captivated by Kate Moss that he now claims to possess her used lingerie.

"For me, Kate Moss is the ultimate celebrity," he said. "A friend of mine had one of Kate's basques.

"He gave it to me and I DNA-tested it just to discover her genetic ancestry Scottish apparently. Nothing more," he said.

Bizarre though this may be, this is not the case of the obsessive stalker that it appears.

Fred Vermorel, 55, a part-time art history lecturer at Kingston University, is actually the author of Kate's unofficial biography "Addicted to Love", published earlier this year.

He said: "I'd met Moss' fiance Pete Docherty and he knew what I was planning and understood that I wasn't out to do a hatchet job on her."

Fred has certainly had previous experience in writing biographies, having produced books on Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols.

He gave a lecture on his writing career at Kingston University on Thursday last week, but none of his previous books reached the dizzy rock and roll heights of used underwear.

No sooner had Fred begun research for the book in September 2005 than the infamous cocaine scandal broke and Kate disappeared to America for six months.

Instead, he interviewed photographers, Kate's ex-boyfriends and family friends, who provided childhood photographs of Kate.

"I uncovered a lot of stuff about Kate that isn't widely known, but I was so restricted by lawyers that very little made it into the book," he said.

Despite Kate being abroad, Fred did still manage to get inside her Cotswolds country house with a camera.

He is tight-lipped about how he did this but it proved informative.

He said: "Pete has a whole suite of rooms at that house. I knew they hadn't broken up during the cocaine scandal because his furniture was still there and his Jag was always parked in the drive."

There may indeed still be more revelations and underwear examinations to come, as Fred has just received the go-ahead from his publishers to bring her biography up-to-date.