Footballer Rio Ferdinand has lost his High Court privacy battle over a story published in April regarding an alleged affair with Carly Storey.
The case hinged on whether the newspaper was justified in publishing its story because the public interest was such that its Article 10 right to freedom of expression was of a greater importance than Ferdinand’s Article 8 privacy right under the Human Rights Act.
Ferdinand had branded the article – My Affair with England Captain Rio – a “gross invasion of my privacy” and said he had not seen Ms Storey for six years by the time it appeared.
How rude of them to invade his privacy! Here’s an Idea…..don’t cheat!
In a BBC report: Its counsel, Gavin Millar QC, argued that the case was not really about Ferdinand’s privacy but about the effect on the public image he had constructed, and was without merit.
In court, the judge said: “Overall, in my judgement, the balancing exercise favours the defendant’s right of freedom of expression over the claimant’s right of privacy.”
Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver said in a statement that the paper was “very pleased” about the court’s decision.
“The judge found that there was a justified public interest in reporting the off-pitch behaviour of the then England captain and discussion of his suitability for such an important and ambassadorial role representing the country.
“We are pleased the judge ruled that Mr Ferdinand had perpetuated a misleading public image and the Sunday Mirror was entitled to correct this impression.
“There has never been greater scrutiny of the media than now, and we applaud this ruling in recognising the important role a free press has to play in a democratic society,” it said.
Looks like its not a good time for Rio. Then again at least Carley will probably be on I’m a Celebrity, Get me Outta Here next year.