The Sun today published photos and video of Portsmouth manager Avram Grant visiting a massage parlour in defiance of an earlier injunction threat.
The tabloid initially tried to run the story shortly before Christmas.
On 23 December The Sun revealed only that an un-named Premier League football manager had visited a “Thai vice den” – which it said was a brothel.
But declining to name him the paper said: “Creeping privacy laws in the UK, based on the Human Rights Act, mean we are barred from naming him.” And it revealed that it had been threatened with an injunction.
Yesterday the Daily Telegraph carried news that the manager in question was in fact Grant on its front page, and The Sun and Daily Mail also carried the news, as follow-ups in their later editions.
Press Gazette understands that the Telegraph scooped The Sun on the Grant story after independently standing up the facts of the matter and putting them to Grant’s lawyers. No attempt was made to injunct the paper or stop publication so they decided to run with it.
Today The Sun published its original photos of Grant visiting the establishment on its front oage as well as video on its website.
Today the paper said: “The football world was rocked when The Sun first revealed that a Premier League boss had been seen at the brothelâ€¦But we were banned from naming the Israeli coach until this week by Britain’s creeping privacy laws.”
Grant’s wife Tzofit was apparently relaxed about the incident when talking to reporters yesterday.
She told the Daily Telegraph’s Gordon Rayner: “He’s the manager of Portsmouth. Do you know how tough that is? He’s a great manager stuck in a crappy team. He works hard, he needs two massages a day.”
The Grant revelations follow Mr Justice Tugendhat’s decision last Friday to lift an injunction brought by England football captain John Terry to which had prevented the News of the World revealing allegations about an extra-marital affair.
Lifting the injunction the judge that there was evidence the information about Terry’s alleged affair was already in ‘wide circulation amongst those involved in the sport in question”, so was no longer private.
He said: “Freedom to live as one chooses is one of the most valuable freedoms. But so is the freedom to criticise, within the limits of the law, the conduct of other members of society as being socially harmful, or wrong.”
It may be that the Telegraph’s decision to go go public with the Grant story despite previous legal threats was in the light of this ruling.
Grant’s identity had already been widely circulated on the internet.