Celebrity may appeal to maintain injunction

A celebrity who wants to keep his name out of a UK tabloid newspaper story has lost the latest round of a legal battle but may appeal the decision to a higher court.

Three court of appeal judges ruled an injunction barring The Sun on Sunday from naming the man should be lifted, but he wants the British supreme court to consider the case, and the appeal judges said the injunction would stay in place for 48 hours to give the man’s lawyers time to make an application to that court.

Sun On Sunday editors want to publish an account of the man’s alleged extra-marital affairs. However, he argued he had a privacy right and took legal action. 

The newspaper won the first round in January when the high court refused to injunct against publication.

The man appealed, and two appeal court judges ruled in his favour and imposed an injunction preventing the newspaper from identifying the man in an article.

Lawyers for the paper asked three appeal judges to lift the ban. 

They said at a court of appeal hearing on Friday that the ban should go because the man has been named in articles abroad and his identity could be found on the internet.

The man opposed the application but Lord Justice Jackson, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Simon ruled in the newspaper’s favour yesterday.

“Knowledge of the relevant matters is now so widespread that confidentiality has probably been lost,” said Lord Justice Jackson. 

“Much of the harm which the injunction was intended to prevent has already occurred.”

Detail of the case emerged earlier this year in the court of appeal when the man was identified only as PJS or the claimant.

The judgement in that case said he was “well known”, married, and in the entertainment business. 

They said his spouse, named as YMA, was also well-known in the entertainment business, and the couple had “young” children.

The judges had decided to allow the man’s appeal after balancing his human right to respect for family life and the newspaper’s right to free expression. 

The Sun On Sunday argued that publication of the story would contribute to on-going debate.

They said the man and YMA had put “many details of their relationship” into the public domain, arguing that it was therefore in the public interest if an account of the man’s “sexual exploits with others” was published.


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