Injunction: Supreme Court set to reveal on Thursday whether threesome celebrity can be named

UK Supreme Court

A celebrity battling to stop a tabloid newspaper naming him in a story about his alleged extra-marital activities will find out this week if he is to remain anonymous.

The man, referred to as PJS, is challenging a Court of Appeal decision that an order barring The Sun on Sunday from naming him should be lifted.

The weekly publication, part of News Group Newspapers, successfully argued that the injunction imposed by the celebrity should be lifted after he was named in articles abroad and on the internet.

However the matter was taken to the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court, with the injunction remaining in place. Five Supreme Court justices will announce their decision in the case on Thursday.

During April’s hearing, PJS’s counsel, Desmond Browne QC, said discharging the injunction would have “devastating consequences” for him and his children and lead to a “storm of harassment”.

He said there was a need to protect the children and that it was an issue not just now but for the future when they grew up, adding it was hard to see that the Court of Appeal had afforded the children “the primacy of importance” to which they were entitled.

He said the English media had embarked on a campaign to ridicule the granting of the injunction with the twin aims of encouraging their readers to find the prohibited information online and put pressure on the court to lift the injunction.

The justices needed to consider the practical ramifications of the Court of Appeal’s findings and “whether they are acceptable in a country under the rule of law rather than the press”.

Gavin Millar, QC for NGN, said the position had changed from January when no information about the matter was available to the public.

He said since it “took off” on the internet on 6 April, all the English mainstream media had reported the story and its dissemination was not something a court could prevent.

He added it was unlikely, given the information available to the public, that a permanent injunction would be obtained at trial – when NGN would argue that aspects of the story were in the public interest.

The Court of Appeal has said the interests of the children were not a trump card in this situation but that it was a case about balancing rights.

The information was out there on the internet to be seen. That might not be desirable but it was the factual position, he said.

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