Threesome injunction celebrity cannot be named, UK's top court rules

Court upholds injunction on identifying celebrity at centre of controversy

Threesome injunction celebrity cannot be named, UK's top court rules

File photo: PA Images

A celebrity involved in a legal dispute to prevent his name from being reported in a story about alleged extra-marital activities has won a Supreme Court ruling.

The decision means that media outlets in England and Wales remain banned from naming the individuals involved.

In a four-to-one majority ruling, the Supreme Court held that there was an "absence on present evidence" of "any genuine public interest" that would justify publishing the man's identity.

The court said that despite the story being accessible on the internet and social media, for it to be reported in English newspapers would lead to "potentially more enduring invasions" of privacy.

The individual, named in court hearings only as PJS, is married to a celebrity in the entertainment business and they have young children.

The Sun on Sunday argued it should be able to report on the man's alleged extra-marital sexual encounters as his name had already been published elsewhere.

The justices said that there is "a qualitative difference in intrusiveness and distress between the disclosures on the internet which have occurred and the media storm which would follow from publication by the English media in hard copy, together with unrestricted internet coverage of the story".

In a summary of their ruling, they wrote that "publication in this form is contrary to the interests of PJS's children."

The man had asked the Supreme Court to consider the case after the Court of Appeal ruled last month that the injunction should be lifted.

The individual, who also works in the entertainment business, argued that he had a right to privacy and took legal action.

Legal experts have predicted that the decision could lead to more privacy injunction applications.

Dominic Crossley, a lawyer who specialises in media and privacy issues, said: "The Sun on Sunday and other tabloids hoped that this case would mark the death knell for the privacy injunctions; in fact it has given them new life."