England and Chelsea star Ashley Cole and his Girls Aloud singer and X-Factor judge wife Cheryl have put so much information about their private lives into the public domain that he has no case for invasion of privacy, the High Court was told today.
The claim was made in defence of two actions 27-year-old defender Cole has launched against the Daily Mirror and Sun for alleged invasion of privacy over stories about his sex life.
Cole has launched separate actions against Mirror publisher MGN and Sun publisher News Group Newspapers, seeking an estimated £200,000 from each over a series of stories published in January and February this year.
The writ filed against the Daily and Sunday Mirror related to stories Cole alleging that Cole had sex with Aimee Walton, Coralie Robinson and Brooke Healey.
Cole said in the writ that some of the information in the stories was false and invented, but said that this legal action would not distinguish between true and false information.
The writ involving the Sun and Sun Online names a fourth woman, Jakki Degg.
Cole argued in the writ that he does not hold any public office or carry out any official duties, and information about his sex life “was not capable of contributing to a debate in a democratic society relating to matters of public interest”.
At a preliminary skirmish in London today, the court was told that the newspapers seek to have the actions heard together but that Cole seeks to have them to be heard separately. However, that question is to be decided later by a High Court judge.
Cole’s counsel, David Sherborne, told senior High Court official Deputy Master Bard the articles contained ‘private information which represents an unjustified intrusion into his private life concerning alleged sexual relationships he had with three women”.
However, Alexandra Marzec for the two newspapers said: ‘We say the information is not private because he and his wife have put a mass of information about their personal lives into the public domain already.”
Both sides today agreed certain timing details about the full action which is not due to be heard before next autumn.
However, the question of whether the two matters will be heard together or separately with one following the other will be decided later by another judge.