MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Ryan Giggs has consented to being named as the footballer who sought a so-called ‘superinjunction’ at the High Court in London last year.
Giggs yesterday confirmed he had agreed to lift the anonymity order, which forbade British media outlets from naming him as the footballer who had had an extramarital affair with glamour model Imogen Thomas.
The High Court yesterday heard that Giggs had now consented to being identified, as the Welsh international initiated legal proceedings against The Sun newspaper for damages over an alleged breach of his privacy.
Giggs had been awarded the injunction last April after the tabloid published a story detailing a relationship between Thomas and an unnamed “Premier League footballer”.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Giggs’ counsel said the paper had misused private information in that article, and that under the European Convention of Human Rights he was entitled to damages for the subsequent re-publication of that information.
The Sun rejects the claim, with its own counsel saying it had behaved “properly” itself – and that it was not responsible for what other newspapers or Twitter users did afterward.
The Manchester Evening News quotes Richard Spearman QC, for the Sun:
All we have done is publish one story, which we told him about before we did it. We behaved entirely properly. We gave advance notice of what we were doing.
We gave an opportunity to seek an injunction.
The anonymity order – under which Giggs was referred to only as ‘CTB’ – stopped media outlets in England and Wales from identifying him, but did not apply in Scotland – prompting one newspaper there to name him, along with hundreds of thousands of Twitter users.
Papers were also free to identify Giggs after Liberal Democrat MP John Hemmings named him in the House of Commons under parliamentary privilege, thereby giving the newspapers qualified privilege to report on parliamentary proceedings.
In December Giggs acknowledged that there was no basis for his accusations that Thomas had tried to blackmail him, saying he had sought the injunction on the day the original story appeared in The Sun, fearing Thomas had sold her story.
Representatives from all three parties have since accepted that Thomas was not the source of the article.