Princess seeks details of gym photo profits: Writs allege breach of confidence and demand permanent ban
Wednesday 10 November 1993
The Princess, who condemned the photographs published in the Sunday Mirror and Daily Mirror as 'gross intrusion', is also asking for them to be kept in a safe place and for details of profits made from their sale.
This would force Bryce Taylor, owner of the LA Fitness Club where the pictures were taken, to disclose how much he was paid and the Mirror Group to reveal profits from increased sales. This could form the basis for a damages claim although the case is unlikely to go to court.
The writs were served on Mirror Group Newspapers, David Banks and Colin Myler, the editors of the two newspapers that published the photographs, the club in Isleworth, west London, and Mr Taylor.
The Princess is claiming that the newspapers, the gym and its owner breached confidence. The LA Fitness Club and Mr Taylor are alleged to have breached her membership contract and the Mirror Group and its editors are said to have induced that breach. The writs were served on the Mirror Group yesterday.
Representatives of Network Security Management Ltd, hired by the Princess's solicitors, were unable to find Mr Taylor, and last night handed the writ to his public relations adviser, Max Clifford.
Mr Clifford denied that Mr Taylor was 'cutting and running', but said he was flying to New Zealand to visit his mother for Christmas.
If the defendants agree to the terms laid down in the writs within 14 days, that will end the matter. Otherwise their lawyers must lodge an 'acknowledgement of service' with the High Court stating whether they will contest the case.
If they do not respond, the Princess can apply for summary judgment. The writs make no mention of damages but seek 'further or other relief' and ask for the plaintiff to be awarded costs.
On Monday, the Princess was granted a temporary injunction preventing further publication of the photographs taken by a secret camera at the gym. If the case does go to court, one of the main issues would be the terms on which the Princess joined the pounds 475-a-year club.
Unless she was specifically guaranteed protection against intrusion of privacy, it would have to be decided whether there was implied confidentiality and whether that was breached.
Although the Mirror Group has remained defiant in the face of condemnation of the publication of the photos, Mr Banks, editor of the Daily Mirror, yesterday admitted that he and Mr Taylor could be described as 'ratbags'.
In an interview with an Australian network replayed on BBC Radio, he admitted that Mr Taylor's action in secretly photographing the Princess was 'a particularly sneaky trick, frankly, and the bloke who did it has got to go down as one of the ratbags of the year'.
He argued that once the pictures had been taken there was no reason why they should not be used, but admitted: 'I don't exclude myself from a scale of rat-baggery, but I would give him a nine and I'd come in at a seven, I think.'
The Daily Mirror claimed last night that other newspapers had promised to end their criticism of its use of the pictures.
The Press Complaints Commission is due to meet today, but will not be discussing the use of the pictures because the matter is 'sub-judice', Lord McGregor, the commission's chairman, said.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...