C was Katie Price, D3 was her ex-husband Peter Andre. D4 was a former friend and close confidant of C. D1 was the MD of D2, a company providing public relations and celebrity management services, formerly providing them to D3 and C but after the divorce only to D3. The claim against D4 related to an affidavit which was prepared for her by solicitors acting for D3 in 2009. It covered C’s relationship with two men, Mr A and Mr B.
The affidavit contained detailed information about C’s relationship with Mr A, with whom she had had a business relationship, and with whom it had been claimed she had also had a sexual relationship. D4 commented on the relationship as it appeared to her, and set out information which she claimed C had communicated to her. It also contained a statement that C had communicated to her the identity of Mr B, who she claimed had raped her.
C claimed damages, delivery up of documents, and the disclosure of the names of those to whom the information had been disclosed. She pleaded that the information in the affidavit was private, and that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of it. She also alleged that D1 and D4 had entered into negotiations with the News of the World for publication of it.
D4 admitted meeting the newspaper to discuss an article about C, and that the information regarding Mr A was mentioned at the meeting. D4’s defence was that the extent of C’s publication of material about her own private life meant that her expectation of privacy was overridden, and any communications by D4 were justified. D4 also pleaded a public interest defence with reference to the PCC Code, and that there were no grounds to apprehend repetition of the information.
The application before the court was by D4 that the claim against her be struck out pursuant to CPR 3.4 (2) (b) and/or the inherent jurisdiction of the court. The main ground for the application was the court’s jurisdiction to strike the claim out as a Jameel abuse, on the basis that there was no real and substantial tort so as to constitute a substantial interference with the Claimant’s privacy rights. The further bases for it were that it served no legitimate purpose, that there were no advantages to it that outweighed the disadvantages involved, and that the claim constituted an unnecessary interference with D4’s freedom of expression.