Carina Trimingham, a woman who had an affair with cabinet minister Chris Huhne, has launched a legal action against Associated Newspapers for invasion of privacy.
Trimingham is demanding damages of more than £300,000 over eight stories that appeared in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday in June and July this year relating to her relationship with the Lib Dem energy and climate change minister.
According to a writ filed at the High Court, she claims the stories breached her reasonable expectation of privacy and her statutory right to privacy.
Trimingham says the stories, which revealed she was bisexual, detailed relationship history which was private information.
She claims the stories contained details about sexual intercourse, reports of private conversations and included photographs, which she had commissioned, that were taken before, during, and after her civil partnership ceremony.
The writ says she seeks aggravated damages for the ‘relentless and spiteful character of the attack’as the eight stories were published over eleven days.
In addition, she is seeking an injunction banning the papers from continuing to publish pictures of her civil ceremony and information about her sexuality.
The stories caused her huge emotional hurt and embarrassment, she claims, and extra distress was caused by ‘spiteful and abusive’comments attached to online versions of the stories.
Trimingham, who instructed Manchester solicitors JMW to act for her, says the two newspapers failed to contact her before publishing the stories, depriving her of the chance to seek an injunction and prevent irreparable damage.
She accuses the papers of breaching the PCC Editors’ Code of Pratice by making prejudiced and pejorative statements about her sexuality and mentioning her sexuality although it was not genuinely relevant to the story about Huhne’s adultery.
Journalists investigating her private life, by speaking or trying to speak to her friends, some of whom spoke anonymously about her, also distressed her, she added.