X Factor Cheryl's publicity-shy husband gets privacy payout over three-page Reveal profile

 

Reveal magazine is to pay out substantial privacy damages to the husband of X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (pictured, Reuters).

Businessman Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini, who married the 31-year-old singer – better known as Cheryl Cole – in July, had sued Reveal publisher the National Magazine Company for invasion of privacy and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

His solicitor, Callum Galbraith, told Judge Richard Parkes QC at the High Court that the "deeply intrusive" article was very upsetting for Fernandez-Versini as, despite his wife's fame, he was not and had no wish to be a public figure.

The feature, spread across three pages, detailed his childhood, his life in France where he was brought up, and made public information about his father, late mother, their personal finances, relationships and feelings about each other.

The publisher accepted that the article invaded his privacy, apologised and agreed to pay substantial damages and his legal costs.

Neither Fernandez-Versini nor his wife was at the hearing.

Galbraith said the upset and distress caused to Mr Fernandez-Versini was particularly acute because he had actively sought to avoid the media's glare.

"Publicity was the inevitable, but avoidable, consequence for the claimant in so far as Reveal's article is concerned," he said.

"Despite describing the article as the product of an investigation, at its core was a combination of speculation, gossip and private information.

"As Reveal now accepts, the article constituted an unjustifiable and unnecessary intrusion into the claimant's private and family life: the only reason for it being published at all was the fame and notoriety of the claimant's wife which is, of course, no justification for a publication that in truth should never have been made. Reveal now accepts this."

The magazine's solicitor, Aimee Nisbet, said it wished to express its regret for the distress and hurt which it caused and undertook not to re-publish the article or any similar information about Fernandez-Versini in the future.

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