Editor defends decision to run exposé of Max Mosley orgy

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The Independent Online

The editor of the News Of The World has defended the paper's allegation that Max Mosley had engaged in a "sick Nazi orgy". Colin Myler claimed while being cross-examined at the High Court that the 68-year-old Formula One boss had instigated a "crime upon himself" when he was caned until blood was drawn.

Mr Mosley's QC, James Price, said that one would expect beatings at an S&M session. Mr Myler replied: "You say it was S&M, but blood was drawn. I know it was drawn because he had a plaster on his bottom. I think it was after he'd had 15 beatings of the cane." Mr Price said that the newspaper was accusing Mr Mosley of "instigating a crime upon himself". He asked Mr Myler: "Are you serious?"

The editor replied: "The News Of The World did not take Mr Mosley kicking and screaming to that... flat in Chelsea. The News Of The World did not engage five girls for five hours of what went on – which was brutal."

Mr Myler said his paper might not have been entirely fair to Mr Mosley in its coverage of the "sick Nazi orgy" it claimed he had engaged in with five dominatrices earlier this year. The coverage included articles and a video on the News Of The World website. Mr Mosley is suing the paper for invasion of privacy and defamation.

The editor agreed with the suggestion of Mr Mosley's QC that "in fairness it might have been instructive to have had [the video of the orgy] translated by a German speaker", after the paper alleged the S&M session had a concentration camp theme.

"We should have done that," said Mr Myler. "But I still don't believe, in the context of... what took place in the flat for five hours, that we didn't have a reasonable justification to publish."

The editor admitted that no one with knowledge of German watched the video before the paper went to press. This was despite the fact that one of the scenarios featured in the video – which the paper claimed was recreating a concentration camp scene – was conducted mostly in German.

Mr Myler himself said that he had only watched brief snippets of the film before publication.

Mr Price said that if the newspaper had bothered to get the video translated, they would have realised that the scenario being acted out was of a prison, and not a concentration camp. "There were references to prison cells and life sentences," Mr Price said.

The court had previously heard that Mr Mosley is fluent in German, and one of the women, known only as Woman B, is a native speaker.

The editor said he based his conclusion that there was a Nazi element on his knowledge of general history and the connotations of the role play.

Mr Myler said he believed head inspections took place in the Nazi death camps and that people were shaved. Mr Price asked: "Did they have their bottoms shaved, as far as you know?" Mr Myler replied: "I don't know," adding that he was not a historian.

Mr Price also asked Mr Myler why the News Of The World's informant, another dominatrix known in court as Woman E, was not paid the £25,000 she was promised by the paper's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, for secretly filming the gathering. "Every fee is renegotiated," said Mr Myler. "We negotiate just as in any other business deal. We are in a credit crunch, Mr Price."

The case continues.

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