In late 2017, the applicant began an intimate relationship with the respondent. He alleged that she began a harassment campaign against him after he ended the relationship in early 2018. In July of that year, the respondent threatened to bring proceedings against the applicant in the US, claiming he had infected her with two sexually transmitted diseases. The respondent demanded $2.5 million in return for dropping her threat.
In August 2018, a settlement agreement was reached: the applicant agreed to pay the respondent $1.5 million, and the respondent agreed to keep confidential the details of their relationship and the infection allegation, and to return and destroy any data relating to their relationship.
The following year, in April 2019, the applicant received information suggesting that the respondent had breached the settlement agreement. The respondent submitted her mobile phone to the applicant’s US lawyers for examination. This revealed that she had failed to delete several photographs involving the applicant, as well as evidence of correspondence between them. In August 2019, the applicant gave notice of breach, and demanded that the respondent return the $1 million she had already received.
A fortnight later, the respondent’s US lawyer threatened to issue proceedings against the applicant, alleging that the applicant had breached the respondent’s rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when examining her mobile phone. The lawyer asserted that the August 2018 settlement agreement could not be used to conceal such breaches, and warned that the applicant would be forced to testify in public if the respondent brought a claim in the US – including on matters which the agreement sought to keep confidential.
The applicant applied, without notice, in London for an interim injunction restraining the respondent from revealing the fact of their relationship; her allegation that the applicant had infected her with sexually transmitted diseases; and the details of their legal dispute. The court heard the application on 24 September 2019. It announced its decision the following day.