Sir Elton fails in injunction bid

Court declines to bar photos of star in street

Sir Elton John this evening failed in an attempt to restrain publication of photos of him taken by a freelance photographer in the street outside his West London home.


At a 2-hour hearing in private Mr Justice Eady was asked to grant an injunction preventing the owners of the Daily Mail from publishing any such photographs, on the grounds that this would infringe Sir Elton’s privacy rights.


The judge dismissed the application with costs in a public judgment which considered and distinguished several of the leading cases on infringement of privacy by photographs, including the European Court’s decision in von Hannover v Germany.


Eady J was not satisfied Sir Elton was likely to succeed at trial. Referring to observations of the House of Lords in Naomi Campbell’s case, he held that the circumstances were akin to Sir Elton ‘popping out for some milk’. The likelihood that the pictures would be accompanied by personally offensive text did not give rise to a valid claim. Nor was lack of consent to the photography more than an element to be weighed.


5RB‘s Desmond Browne QC and William Bennett represented Sir Elton. Mark Warby QC appeared for the Defendants, Associated Newspapers.


Click here for the 5RB case report.