The so-called supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer is not known for the subtlety of its headlines - or the sensational nature of its stories.
This week it carried one that read “Soccer’s Sex Rats - Their Shocking Affairs! above an article that named four British sportsmen who used gagging orders in the UK to prevent details of alleged affairs and a sexting scandal from being reported there.
“Highly-paid English soccer bad boys have used the courts to hide their sordid secrets,” the tabloid said. “But in an exclusive report, The National ENQUIRER names - and shames - the sex rats!”
The details that the four men were trying to cover up are apparently as gutter-worthy as one of the hope of the Enquirer’s attention.
One of the stars sought an injunction to cover up two accusations of cheating – including up claims he cheated on his partner with another celeb on the eve of their wedding, MailOnline reported.
A football club boss allegedly asked for a woman to send him pictures of herself in high heels, stockings and without underwear as a reward for his team winning an away game. The allegations also involve a married footballer said to have had a fling with a well-known model, it said.
A third footballer went to court last year to prevent an affair he allegedly had with a celebrity being made public. The fourth sportsman secured a gagging order to hide allegations about his sex life in 2008.
The revelations in the US come after a string of controversial privacy cases, including a recent Supreme Court ruling banning publication of the name of a married celebrity who took part in a threesome.
Last week, it emerged a world famous singer obtained a gagging order to hush up claims he sexually harassed his hairdresser.
The global star faced an employment tribunal over the allegations last year and settled the case out of court in February, the website reported.
Supreme Court judges recently declared that adults in England and Wales have no right to know about the sex lives of celebrities.
They banned publication of the names of the married man who took part in a threesome, and that of his partner, in a landmark ruling that threatens to open the gates to a flood of gagging writs for the rich and famous.
The star - known only as PJS in court papers - had asked another couple if they were “up for a three-way” before being offered sex in an olive oil-filled paddling pool.
Judges at the Supreme Court were expected to lift the gagging order around the celebrity but instead ruled that publication of the story would “infringe the privacy rights of the claimant, his partner, and their children”.
While the injunction prevents the press in England and Wales from naming the couple, that has not prevented publications anywhere else in the world to reveal their identities, including Scotland and Ireland.Reuse content