Colin Montgomerie wins privacy gag

Golfer Colin Montgomerie has become the latest celebrity to use an injunction to halt media revelations about his private life.

The Daily Telegraph reports today that Montgomerie was granted an injunction which stopped a report appearing in a national newspaper last month by Justice Eady at the High Court.

Press Gazette understands that the injunction was not against any one newspaper – but a generalised order preventing certain information being revealed.

Montgomerie told journalists at a Ryder Cup press conference yesterday: “I know a lot of you are having a lot of fun right now at my expense. Let me clear this up, though, that I can categorically say that there’s no injunction against the News of the World. I’m really not going to discuss this any any further.

“All I can say is categorically there is no injunction against the News of the World regarding anything. I apologise for this, that you have to bring this up, but at the same time, no further- no further comments from myself on that matter.”

He said: “I’m here to talk about the Ryder Cup. So please, no further questions on anything to do with my private life. By definition, that is private.”

Montgomerie is the latest in a series of high-profile figures to use injunctions to keep secret matters which journalists have sought to expose about their private lives.

The High Court judgment in favour of Max Mosley against the News of the World last year was seen as a landmark case setting the boundaries of the developing privacy laws in the UK.

Justice Eady ruled that there was no public interest in the News of the World revealing Mosley’s extra-marital activities involving five dominatrices – and that it was therefore private, confidential and out of bounds to the press.

However, the pendulum appeared to swing in favour of the press in January when the News of the World overturned an injunction brought by England Football Captain John Terry preventing it from publishing allegations that he had been involved in an extra-marital affair.

In that case, Justice Tugendhat overturned the order because he said he thought the Terry injunction was more about protecting his business interests than preventing personal distress. In that case he also noted that the allegations were already well known to those involved in football.

Despite the Mosley judgment, the News of the World showed that it is still prepared to published old-fashioned kiss-and-tells as on Sunday it revealed that England footballer Peter Crouch had allegedly cheated on his fiancée by having sex with a prostitute in Madrid.

Unlike defamation, under the law of privacy and breach of confidence claimants can use an injunction to prevent publication if they get advance warning.

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