The Max Mosley effect has been blamed for stopping The Sun from publishing the identity of a Premier League manager it caught visiting a Thai ‘vice den”.
And it has emerged that the paper was threatened with an injunction to prevent it publishing the man’s name.
The Sun revealed yesterday that a married football boss spent an hour at the ‘massage parlour”, which it said was in fact a brothel, while still dressed in soccer training kit.
But it said: ‘Creeping privacy laws in the UK, based on the Human Rights Act, mean we are barred from naming him.”
In July, the High Court ruled that the News of the World had infringed the privacy of married Formula One boss Max Mosley by revealing that he had taken part in a sado-masachistic orgy with five dominatrices, publishing photos and video.
Writing in the Daily Mail today, Stephen Glover said: ‘The paper’s editor and journalists were keen to run the story naming the manager. But lawyers acting for the football manager threatened the Sun with an injunctionâ€¦
‘He is a public figure, and is presented on television and in the Press in a virtuous and even heroic light. He knows his reputation would be undermined by disclosure, which is why his lawyers ferociously opposed publication.”
He said: ‘The judgment against the News of the World has emboldened lawyers striving to develop a privacy law without the say-so of Parliament, and it has correspondingly frightened the once indomitable Sun.
‘Hence it is now possible for a public figure – and a man who has hitherto enjoyed almost entirely favourable publicity – to be caught visiting a brothel and expect his name to be kept out of the Press.”
Dominic Crossley, of the law firm Collyer Bristow, told The Times: ‘In the last three years the courts have been prepared to protect privacy notwithstanding the perceived immorality of the act. The Mosley case made it quite clear that the High Court will recognise a right to privacy, even if paid women have been used in sexual encounters.’