Date: 27 June 2016

Celebrity Injunctions Explained

For a long time now, the rich and famous have used celebrity injunctions through the courts to stop sordid secrets about their personal life from getting out in the press.

Whether it be the world-famous sportsman who had the alleged affair with a female celebrity, the married football manager caught playing away or even a politician up to no good, injunctions have been used for years to stop these stories getting out into the public domain and to spare the rich and famous from some red faces.

Celebrity injunctions have recently been thrust into the spotlight again because of another high profile celebrity case involving a married couple caught up in a scandal. The courts in England granted the couple an injunction, stopping the press from publishing names or details, as it was ruled that it could be damaging to the couple’s children. However this did not stop the details from being released in other countries and on the internet, thus their identities being freely available.

Cases like this have a habit of reigniting an age old debate about freedom of speech and whether UK law should allow people with money to pay for silence. There is also the argument that the law has become redundant in the digital age of social media where information is readily available at the touch of a button.

Here we remind you of some of the more famous injunction cases and their legal implications…..

  • Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas – in 2011, Ryan Giggs was granted a super-injunction to prevent his affair with former Miss Wales and Big Brother star Imogen Thomas from becoming public knowledge. It was reported that former Manchester United player spent around £150,000 for the order. However this all became defunct when an MP used his parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs as the mystery man involved in the story.
  • Jeremy Clarkson – again in 2011, Jeremy Clarkson confessed to using a super-injunction to try and prevent his ex-wife Alex Hall from discussing their relationship which included allegations that they had an affair while the former Top Gear presenter was married to his second wife Frances. Clarkson has been quoted as saying injunctions are “pointless” and “expensive” in today’s digital environment.
  • “PJS” – the most recent case from earlier this year which has got people talking is the well-known celebrity couple who have taken out an injunction to prevent details coming out about a third party involved in their relationship. Legally the UK media cannot print any details, however this has not stopped the couple being identified on social media and in press abroad.

If you would like any help or advice on any aspect of the law please contact Best Solicitors on 0114 358 3134 or contact us.

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