French court rules UK tabloid violated Mosley’s privacy

2011-11-08 14:32

Paris – A French court ruled today that a British tabloid had violated the privacy of former world motorsport chief Max Mosley when it published photographs of him in a sadomasochistic orgy.

The court fined Rupert Murdoch’s News Group, publisher of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, €10 000 (R108 950) and ordered it to pay €7 000 in damages for violating Mosley’s privacy, but said there was no defamation.

It also ordered the company to pay €15 000 in court costs. Mosley had been asking for €200 000 in damages.

Mosley (71) had already won a case in a British court against News Group, after the News of the World published a front-page story in March 2008 entitled “F1 boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers”.

The British tabloid story labelled Mosley “a sadomasochistic sex pervert” and posted a video of the episode, secretly recorded by one of the participants, on its website.

Mosley, whose father led the British fascist party in the 1930s, has acknowledged paying five women for sex, but said the event depicted in the paper was a prison fantasy and challenged the claim that the episode was Nazi-themed.

The British court awarded him £60 000 (R76 1186) in damages. Mosley subsequently filed suit against News Group in France, where copies of the newspaper were distributed and which has more strict privacy laws, on charges of defamation and violating his private life.

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