Senior judges have barred journalists from revealing the name of a millionaire Italian businessman who is embroiled in a public court fight over money with his ex-wife.
The businessman is linked to a “well-known product” and worth about £500m. He is due to appear at a public hearing in the Court of Appeal in London in June.
His ex-wife has been awarded £115m by a High Court judge. She wants more and has mounted an appeal.
Justice Baker had initially analysed the case at a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
He had published an anonymised ruling and said journalists could not reveal identities in reports of the case.
Three appeal judges have now ruled that a cloak of anonymity must also be thrown over the public Court of Appeal proceedings.
They say journalists must not identify either the man or his ex-wife when reporting the appeal.
Lord Justice Underhill, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan made the ruling at a preliminary appeal court hearing in London on Wednesday following an application by the businessman’s ex-wife.
The three judges said they would publish the reasons for their ruling at a later date.
They had sat behind closed doors for about 30 minutes at the start of the hearing and barred journalists from entering the court room.
The businessman had initially opposed his ex-wife’s application and said journalists should be allowed to name him and his ex-wife when reporting the public Court of Appeal proceedings.
But he changed his stance during the preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Lawyers representing the businessman and his ex-wife had outlined their clients’ views to judges. The woman feared that if journalists revealed the names of her and her ex-husband their son would suffer.
She said the boy suffered significant health and developmental problems and thought “press intrusion” would be particularly harmful to him.
The businessman initially said he would be happy if reporters were only barred from naming the child and argued that his ex-wife’s application for wider reporting restrictions should be dismissed.
He also suggested that the public should be told about “alleged dishonesty” by his ex-wife and her mother.
But about three hours into the hearing his lawyers said he would no longer oppose his ex-wife’s application.