Schwarzenegger faces libel claim

High Court rules that case can proceed in London

The High Court in London today ruled that a libel claim brought by the English TV presenter, Anna Richardson could continue against Arnold Schwarzenegger and other Defendants over remarks alleged to have been made following publicity about Ms Richardson’s allegations that she had been groped by Schwarzenegger.


In a move that is likely further to alarm Internet publishers, the Court ruled that the Claimant had shown sufficient publication in this country as a result of an article contained on the LA Times website. The newspaper itself was not sued, but the Court was satisfied that the Defendants were arguably liable for the publication of remarks that were published in the LA Times.


The application to stay Ms Richardson’s claim on the grounds that London was not the appropriate venue for the claim was brought by the second Defendant, Sean Walsh, said by Ms Richardson to be Mr Schwarzenegger’s political publicist. As the Court noted, Mr Schwarzenegger and another Defendant, Sheryl Main, had not yet submitted to the jurisdiction of the English Court and had only recently been served with proceedings.


Mr Justice Eady, rejecting the submission of Mr Walsh that allowing the claim to continue would mean the English Court assuming an exorbitant jurisdiction over publications on the Internet, said:


There is no warrant for drawing a distinction between those who deliberately publish or put matters on the World Wide Web as part of their business and those who do so incidentally, and without intending to target any particular jurisdiction for the receipt of their communications.


5RB’s David Sherborne acted for Ms Richardson.


Click here for the judgment and a full case report.