Wednesday, May 18, 2011

English Court Upholds Soccer Star's Goal of Anonymity in Press Coverage of Extramarital Affair

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Former Big Brother c...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeAn English judge has denied efforts by News Group Newspapers-owned The Sun to lift his injunction barring the release of the name of a married soccer star who allegedly engaged in an extramarital dalliance with former Miss Wales and Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.

According to an article in The Guardian and posts by the and blogs, Mr. Justice (David) Eady issued a temporary injunction that barred The Sun and other U.K. press outlets from disclosing the name of the soccer player who purportedly was Ms. Thomas' lover during a six-month affair. The justice found the soccer player had a reasonable expectation of privacy and that there was "no legitimate public interest" in allowing him to be identified in press accounts.  Thomas said she had no intent to divulge his name, nor did she seek notoriety, but lacked 50,000 pounds ($80,718) to pursue an injunction against her name being used.

Mr. Justice Eady's decision has no bearing on foreign press coverage of the scandal, as the Spanish daily Sport and Argentina's La Republica newspapers and blog used to their advantage. Less in the interest of journalism than out of fairness to Ms. Thomas, "TUOL" notes that Manchester United's left winger, Ryan Giggs, of Wales, is the married footballer who allegedly went beyond on-field scoring.
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