Sunday rapped over soap star sex expose

Russell: article showed "no respect for private life"

Unlike Vanessa Feltz last week, one celebrity who has been successful in gaining the Press Complaints Commission’s sympathy for intrusion into her privacy is Cornonation Street actress Naomi Russell who plays Bobbi Lewis in the soap.

Salacious detail in an article in Sunday Sport had been so completely disproportionate to material Russell had put into the public domain, the commission decided, that it found in her favour.

Granada Media had complained on her behalf that an article headlined "Naomi’s head went bob-bob-bobbie on my nobbie!" in the Sunday Sport on 11 November, 2001, intruded into her private life and the commission upheld the complaint.

The article concerned a previous relationship between the actress and a man called Paul Deighton.

Granada said that the article, which included highly intimate details about the couple’s sex life, showed no respect for Russell’s private life and that there was no public interest in publishing the story. While she had undertaken some publicity work -in common with all actors in such programmes – she had never discussed such matters in private and in fact never discussed her relationships in public.

The newspaper contended that Russell had previously sought to increase her profile through interviews with the media and had spoken in some depth about her private life and personal thoughts on a wide range of subjects.

This was a sensible way for such people to further their careers and therefore maintain and possibly increase their earning potential, the newspaper argued, adding that it was therefore unreasonable to deny Deighton the right to income earned by discussing his own private life with the media.  The commission said that in this case there was no evidence that Russell had ever discussed such intimate matters and the material that the newspaper published about her private life was completely disproportionate to that already in the public domain. The story was salacious and intrusive and there was no public interest in publishing it in such detail.

Deighton could have discussed his relationship with the complainant without revealing such personal details, the commission said, adding it had no hesitation in upholding the complaint.


By Jean Morgan

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