Mosley loses privacy case after hosting an orgy

Updated: 11 May 2011 12:07 IST

Max Mosley, former F1 boss who sued a tabloid over a story about his sadomasochistic orgy with dominatrixes, lost his privacy case Tuesday in the European Court of Human Rights — a ruling applauded by free speech advocates.

Mosley loses privacy case after hosting an orgy

London:

Max Mosley, former F1 boss who sued a tabloid over a story about his sadomasochistic orgy with dominatrixes, lost his privacy case Tuesday in the European Court of Human Rights - a ruling applauded by free speech advocates.

Max Mosley won a lawsuit against Britain's News of the World tabloid for its 2008 front-page story claiming he, the president of the governing body overseeing Formula One racing, had an hours-long Nazi-themed orgy with five women. Mosley, the son of a former fascist leader, acknowledged the orgy but denied the Nazi theme.

Despite winning sizable damages and legal costs, Mosley didn't stop fighting.

He then took the case to the European court in France, which can intervene in British court rulings. Mosley claimed that his privacy rights, which are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, should force news organizations to notify subjects before publishing details about their private lives.

But the court disagreed, saying European law didn't require pre-notification and that such a requirement could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

"I am disappointed at today's judgment, because I think that there is widespread recognition that privacy is fundamental to the way we live our lives," said Mosley, who plans to ask the court's grand chamber in Strasbourg to reconsider its decision.

But free speech advocates were heartened.

"This is very welcome news for the media," said lawyer Robin Shaw. "The obligation to give prior notification would not have been restricted to stories about the sexual behavior of people in the public eye, such as Mr. Mosley, but would potentially have embraced any story about an individual, however seemingly innocuous."

Privacy has become the latest buzz word in Britain, where scores of celebrities and sports figures have been granted recent injunctions or gag orders to prevent media from publishing the details of their extramarital affairs.

Topics : Formula 1
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