Sportsman granted interim injunction

Privacy injunction against the Sun on Sunday

A “prominent and successful sportsman” has been granted an interim privacy injunction against the Sun on Sunday. Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing DBE granted the injunction at a telephone hearing on Saturday 1 August.

The Sun on Sunday had intended to publish an account by a third party (referred to as “X”) of her relationship with the sportsman during the period before he was married, but whilst he was in a relationship with his now wife. The sportsman and his wife (as first and second claimants) sought an injunction to prevent this.

The Judge found that the sportsman did have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the relationship. In balancing the Article 8 rights of the Claimants and the Article 10 rights of the Defendant and “X”, including the public interest arguments put forward in favour of publication, the Judge found that the balance came down in favour of granting an injunction for a short period.

Whilst some of the material in question was already in the public domain, the Judge found that there was a “significant gap” between what was already in the public domain and what was proposed for publication, and thus it was proportionate to restrain  publication of the additional material.

The Judgment can be found on Bailli here.

5RB‘s Desmond Browne QC acted for the Defendant, News Group Newspapers.