John Terry finds unlikely privacy champion: Max Mosley

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The Independent Online

Max Mosley, the former motor racing boss who won £60,000 damages after his privacy was invaded by the News of the World, claimed today that the England captain John Terry should have been protected by law from having his extramarital affairs exposed.

Mr Mosley, who in 2008 was filmed by the News of the World engaging in a sado-masochistic session with five prostitutes, is seeking to have British privacy law tightened by going to the European Court of Human Rights to apply for a ruling that any newspaper planning to publish a story about someone’s private life should be compelled to forewarn them. “They go to endless lengths to stop the victim finding out it’s going to happen,” Mr Mosley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said that the general gagging order, or “superinjunction” obtained by John Terry to protect his privacy, which was subsequently overruled, would not have been necessary if the News of the World had been obliged to tell him what they planned to publish. He could then have sought an injunction against the newspaper.

He added: “I cannot see why there is any real public interest in knowing whether John Terry has had an affair with somebody and if so, with whom.”

The decision by a high court judge, Justice Eady, to award Mr Mosley heavy damages has been criticised as an attack on press freedom. Mr Mosley argued yesterday that, with rare exceptions, all details of people’s sex lives should be protected by privacy law.

Explaining why he sued for breach of privacy rather than libel, Mr Mosley said: “I didn’t deny what had happened, that we were having what I call a party, but on the other hand it was nobody’s business but mine and the five ladies involved.”

He added: “Some of the most prominent figures in history, for example John Kennedy, Gladstone, Lloyd George – the list is endless – had what one might call interesting sex lives, but people trusted them to run the country.”