Thursday 21 April 2011

Times goes blankety blank over privacy gags: Telegraph on 'worldwide' ban on naming tv star

The Times today blanks out parts of its story - both in print and online - on the latest privacy injunction granted to a football star to emphasise what readers are not allowed to know.

While the Telegraph reports that an unprecedented worldwide privacy order has been imposed to stop the media reporting on a tv star's private life - even online.

It says: "A Premier League footballer won a legal gag yesterday against a topless model, preventing her from revealing details of their six-month affair.

"The married sportsman, who plays for ****, is using controversial human rights laws to prevent details of his adulterous relationship from being made public.

"The secrecy orders override the traditional principle of open justice in favour of the right to privacy or to prevent the risk of harm to family members who may be embarrassed by the revelations.

"Politicians had pledged that human rights laws would not be used by the courts to introduce a legal right to privacy behind the back of Parliament.

"**** had been accused of having a six-month affair with Imogen Thomas, a glamour model who has appeared as a housemate in Channel 4’s Big Brother."

The Telegraph reports: "A High Court judge has issued an unprecedented gagging order in an attempt to prevent details of a television star’s private life being published, even on the internet.

"Mr Justice Eady, who has been at the centre of most recent controversial libel and privacy cases, made the injunction "against the world" rather than just against national newspapers and broadcasters.

"His order seeks to prevent the publication of “intimate photographs” of a married public figure after a woman tried to sell them for a “large sum of money". The judge said the woman “owed” the claimant, identified only as OPQ, a “duty of confidence” and breaching his privacy would damage the health of the man and his family.

"His order is intended to cover discussion of the case online as well as in traditional media, despite the difficulties in enforcing it. The injunction contra mundum is intended to be never-ending and, as its Latin name suggests, applies to the entire world."

The Telegraph adds: "It is understood that it is the first time that such an order has been granted in a privacy case. They were issued on personal safety grounds in the cases of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who murdered James Bulger; the child killer Mary Bell, and Maxine Carr, the former girlfriend of the Soham killer Ian Huntley.

"The ruling takes secrecy laws to a new level, marking a further advance in the steps the courts are prepared to take to protect high-profile figures and to restrict the right to freedom of expression."

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