Dirty Den fails to win over PCC

EastEnders’ Dirty Den, actor Leslie Grantham, has failed in his bid to get five tabloid newspapers censured by the Press Complaints Commission over articles about his sex life.

The stories appeared following a story in The People which revealed Grantham as “a secret webcam pervert” who had exposed himself to women on the internet.

Grantham did not complain about The People piece but about a series of follow-ups, which said he might be seeking medical treatment for sex addiction. The stories appeared in the Daily Star, The Sun, the Daily Record, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror.

Grantham complained under clause 3 of the Editors’ Code of Practice, which covers privacy. His solicitors said the articles were intrusive because they revealed a specific medical condition he was suffering from and the treatment he was to undergo.

The PCC dismissed the complaint.

In its adjudication it stated that journalists had only reported that Grantham had been ordered by his bosses at the BBC to undergo treatment for a ‘sex addiction’.

The adjudication continued: “They did not say that such an addiction had been diagnosed by a health care professional, or even that the complainant had complied with any such order made by the BBC.

“Neither did they say where any such treatment was taking place, nor contain any details about what the treatment did – or even might – involve.”

The PCC also pointed out that Grantham’s behaviour had become a subject of public debate following the incident, reported in The People, which had not been the subject of any complaint by the actor.

By Dominic Ponsford

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