The News of the World splashed yesterday on claims of a second extra-marital affair involving privacy-row footballer Ryan Giggs.
And it reported that Natasha, the wife of his brother Rhodri, only went public with the claims of her affair after reading reports which Giggs failed to suppress of his relationship with former Miss Wales Imogen Thomas.
The News of the World emphasised the ‘hypocrisy’of the Manchester United star by noting that he had travelled to Sierra Leone in 2008 to front a UN safe-sex campaign at the time of his alleged affair. It also noted that his ‘Mr Clean’image has helped him secure lucrative sponsorship contracts.
These are the sort of factors which will come into play in the paper’s defence if Giggs decides to sue for breach of privacy.
There was no reported attempt to injunct the News of the World ahead of publication yesterday. But it could be that the paper did not go to Giggs in advance of publication, thus not giving him the chance to seek an emergency court order. It is impossible to obtain a privacy injunction after publication because the information is then no longer deemed to be private.
The Giggs splash was inserted into the print run after the first edition, thus stopping spoiler front pages from rival papers.
In a leader column yesterday the NoW said: ‘This sorry saga goes to the heart of arguments that have taken place in many courts – balancing the right to privacy under European law with the right to freedom of expression and the public interest. And while our Parliament generally believes that freedom should hold sway, perhaps the most telling statement is Natasha’s own.
‘Confronted with growing rumours, particularly on the internet, she told a close friend: ‘It’s important to me that everybody knows the truth.’
‘Giggs’ sporting prowess is not in dispute, yet nor is there any doubt that the reputation on which he has built much of his public facade is undeserved.”