The (worst-kept) secret is out: Jeremy Clarkson had an injunction

The Top Gear presenter and newspaper columnist Jeremy Clarkson yesterday dramatically lifted an injunction he had taken out to prevent his ex-wife writing about his personal life.

The gagging order has been in place for a year to prevent Alexandra Hall writing about her past relationship with the presenter but yesterday Clarkson applied to the High Court to have it lifted.

Last night he told The Independent: "I've overturned my own injunction – how cool is that? Injunctions don't work, they're completely pointless and unbelievably expensive. And due to a new interpretation of the law you might have to go to trial if you take an injunction out and that's even more expensive.

"I thought 'Just let her run about saying what she wants to say' and people can say 'I believe that or I don't believe it'. Either way it makes no difference to me, it's as simple as that. Frankly I've got more important things to worry about than a woman I was married to for five minutes 30 years ago. So now I have no stress of an injunction and I can look Ian Hislop in the eye."

Another BBC journalist, Andrew Marr, dropped an injunction he had taken out over reporting of an extra-marital affair after the order was challenged by Mr Hislop, the editor of Private Eye.

After the lifting of that injunction in April, Marr said: "I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists. Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I uneasy about it? Yes. But at the time there was a crisis in my marriage and I believed there was a young child involved. I also had my own family to think about, and I believed this story was nobody else's business. I still believe there was, under those circumstances, no legitimate public interest in it."

Clarkson's injunction banned any reporting of "sexual or other intimate acts or dealings" between him and Ms Hall and of the presenter's "private thoughts and feelings, his health and other financial affairs". Ms Hall was married to Clarkson, 51, for a year in 1989. The Clarksons have three teenage children. Earlier this year Clarkson wrote at length in his newspaper column about his solitary existence in London.

Several high-profile figures have taken out injunctions this year, including Chelsea and England footballer John Terry. His super-injunction preventing the reporting of an alleged affair was overturned after the judge decided Terry's primary concern had been to protect his reputation with his commercial sponsors, rather than his privacy.

Top hearsay: How Fleet Street hinted at the truth

Private Eye, 21 January 2011

"I think we have arrived at the stage now where you actually can be busted for heresy by thought, which is terrifying," announced Jeremy Clarkson when asked about the Andy Gray and Richard Keys row. It certainly is. Almost as terrifying as another recent development, that of individuals being threatened with imprisonment, fines or having their assets seized if they write about, or talk to journalists about, their own private lives. But that is exactly what has happened with the recent rash of super-injunctions brought by rich and powerful individuals against former sexual partners. Will Clarkson extend his concern for the right to free speech to campaigning on their behalf?"

Max Davidson in the Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2011, on Clarkson's new 'bachelor pad'

"So man-up, Jeremy. If you spend too long sitting on the floor feeling sorry for yourself, you may end up as a minor comic character in a super-injunction. Better to take control of your life and make that Bayswater flat a thing of beauty, not a crash-pad."

Michael Deacon in the Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2011

"Clarkson says he is in favour of super-injunctions. Among columnists, this makes him almost unique. Rather than complain, perhaps newspapers should impose super-injunctions of their own. These would consist of a private agreement, between all papers, never to run any story about a celebrity who has taken out a gagging order."

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor