Cole settles privacy claim

Footballer’s claim over “kiss-and-tell” newspaper articles ends with settlement

England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole, married to X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, has settled his privacy action against The Sun and the Daily and Sunday Mirror newspapers over “kiss-and-tell” stories about alleged relationships with a number of women. While the parties have confirmed that the terms were mutually acceptable, the precise terms of the settlement are confidential.

Cole had claimed that his privacy had been unjustifiably infringed, contending that the information in the articles was private and that, since he did not hold any public office or carry out any official duties, information about his sex life “was not capable of contributing to a debate in a democratic society relating to matters of public interest”. The newspapers had defended the claim, contending that Cole did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of the information, that some of the information was published in the public interest and that the footballer and his wife had put so much information about their private lives into the public domain that he had no case to claim invasion of privacy.

The case was due to come to trial next week. It had been speculated that a court victory for Cole might mean the end of “kiss-and-tell” disclosures in the press.

5RB’s David Sherborne (instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner) acted for Mr Cole, while Alexandra Marzec (instructed by Farrer & Co) acted for Mirror Group Newspapers and News Group Newspapers.