Ryan Giggs loses damages claim against the Sun

Ryan Giggs Ryan Giggs took out an injunction against the Sun newspaper and TV presenter Imogen Thomas

A damages claim by Manchester United and Wales footballer Ryan Giggs against the Sun newspaper has been thrown out by a High Court judge.

Mr Giggs was granted an injunction in April 2011 after a 14 April article in the Sun on an unnamed player's alleged affair with the model Imogen Thomas.

Despite the order, he was widely identified on social networking sites.

The newspaper had argued that the claim was "dead in the water", and it was dismissed at the High Court on Friday.

On 21 February, Mr Giggs consented at the High Court to being named as the footballer behind the injunction, which prevented the publication of details of an alleged extra-marital affair.

Mr Justice Tugendhat had been considering whether Mr Giggs could sue the Sun for alleged breach of privacy.

'Misused information'

During arguments at the High Court hearing, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Mr Giggs, said the Sun "misused" private information in the article, in which the footballer was not identified.

Analysis

Ryan Giggs' action for breach of privacy - the action that launched a thousand tweets - was brought against the Sun and the model Imogen Thomas.

The judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, said the way the case had been conducted by both parties had "done much to undermine confidence in the administration of justice".

No one has emerged with a great deal of credit. For various reasons which suited them, both News Group Newspapers and Giggs agreed to time extensions which had the effect of interfering with the rights to freedom of expression of third parties and the public in general.

On NGN's part the judge pointed to the double standard of publicly complaining about privacy injunctions while secretly agreeing to time extensions which defer a trial.

The judgement also notes that because Ms Thomas has undertaken not to disclose any private information about Giggs, and the Sun has no private information or intention to publish, there is now little point to an action which led to so much fevered speculation and debate last year.

Mr Tomlinson said Mr Giggs was claiming damages for the subsequent re-publication of information in other newspapers and on the internet, and argued that his claim should go to trial.

He suggested the Sun article "generated a large media storm" and said the damages claim was about "providing effective protection" for Mr Giggs's right to privacy - enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Richard Spearman QC, for the Sun's publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), said the article reported Ms Thomas's relationship with a Premier League player and did not identify Mr Giggs.

He said the Sun behaved "properly" and was not responsible for what happened after the article appeared.

'No basis'

Mr Spearman said legal action had been "spun along for a long, long time" - an allegation Mr Tomlinson described as being "wholly without foundation" - and told the court: "Going forward, there just is not a basis."

In a written judgment handed down on Friday, Mr Justice Tugendhat said he had decided to "refuse to grant relief" to Mr Giggs.

Mr Giggs was originally granted an injunction on the basis that TV presenter Ms Thomas appeared to have been trying to blackmail him.

However, the 2003 Miss Wales and former Big Brother contestant took legal action against him and, in December 2011, Mr Giggs accepted that she had not been blackmailing him

More UK stories

RSS

Features

  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Are we seeing a child ‘survival revolution’?


  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?


  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?


  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts


  • MarsYour Martian home

    Is this how the cities of Mars will be built?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.