Northern Ireland

Court alters terms of Van Morrison media privacy ban

Van Morrison
Van Morrison secured the initial ban last October

Newspaper undertakings not to publish details about Van Morrison's private life have been altered in the High Court in Belfast.

The court heard one of the pledges to not print undisclosed information about the singer is to be removed.

But with two further undertakings remaining in place, a contested hearing in the case has been put on hold.

Mr Morrison had sought an injunction over journals kept by American businesswoman Gigi Lee.

His legal action led to the defendant, Associated Newspapers, giving three guarantees pending resolution of the proceedings.

One centred on the notebooks, while a second involved other undisclosed matters.

The third undertaking was about the star's private life in general.

That condition has now been removed as part of a refinement to the terms originally agreed.

A further contested hearing in the case was due to take place next week.

But counsel for Mr Morrison, Brian Fee QC, told the court on Friday that was no longer necessary.

He said the action would now proceed as normal.

Ms Lee reportedly died of cancer in a Belfast hospice last year at the age of 44.

She had previously joined Mr Morrison in seeking court protection from media intrusion into their lives.

But in April last year an injunction against the now-defunct News of the World was lifted.

That ban was set aside on the condition that the paper did not breach any privacy laws, and gave an undertaking not to publish descriptions or photographs of others linked to the case.

In an affidavit at the time Mr Morrison set out how he regarded some parts of his life as areas to be kept away from scrutiny or comment.

He stated: "I have made considerable efforts to protect my private life and I have refused to be interviewed about it, to comment on it publicly or to authorise others to do so, save in very limited circumstances when a bare minimum of information is required to prevent or minimise harm from the repeated attempts of others to publish allegations about my private life."

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