England player and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is launching a privacy action over a kiss and tell story that appeared in the Sunday Mirror.
The 32-year-old is suing owners Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over the April 2010 article which appeared on the Sunday Mirror website for five days before being taken down.
Ferdinand, who has two sons and a daughter with wife Rebecca, claimed the article was a misuse of private information – but MGN says it was in the public interest to run the story about his alleged 13-year relationship with another woman.
Both Ferdinand and the woman are expected to give evidence in the three-day case at London’s High Court, the bulk of which is likely to take place in public.
The issue to be decided by Mr Justice Nicol is whether the newspaper was justified in publishing the article, because the over-riding public interest was such that its Article 10 rights to freedom of expression trumped Ferdinand’s Article 8 privacy rights.
Ferdinand is represented by Hugh Tomlinson QC while Gavin Millar QC is acting for the newspaper.
In February last year, Ferdinand replaced John Terry as England captain but Terry was reinstated by manager Fabio Capello this year, with Ferdinand returning to vice-captain.