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PJS, YMA Married Celebrity Threesome Injunction Stokes British Press Fury After US Media Reveal Identities

'His right to cheat beats your right to know.'

07/04/2016 14:14 | Updated 19 May 2016

British newspapers have hit out at a historic ruling that stops the UK media revealing the identity of a married celebrity dad who allegedly committed adultery - but left the American press free to name him.

The identity of so-called 'PSJ' and his partner, known as 'YMA', is still a mystery to most Britons after the star in question, who is said to have had a threesome with another couple, successfully fought a watershed court case to have details of an extramarital encounter kept secret because of his children's right to privacy.

But the judges' decision to impose an injunction on journalists reporting the man's name in connection to the news has infuriated tabloid bosses

The Daily Mail on Thursday published a scathing front page headlined "Why the law is an ass!", that lamented being hit by the naming ban while thousands of Americans could read freely about the affair because no such injunction had been sought or granted in the US.

Daily Mail
The front page of the Daily Mail on Thursday.

The paper accused the justice system of "descending into farce" after a popular American publication wrote a story, naming the man and his spouse. 

"Could anything more starkly expose the law’s failure to keep up with the internet age, in which no judge’s ruling can stop stories from flashing round the world?" it said in an accompanying editorial.

"Celebrities spend fortunes on promoting an image of happy family life to appeal to their fans, who in turn buy their products and enrich them beyond dreams.

"Yet the moment an uncomfortable truth threatens to shake the fans’ trust, they run screaming for an injunction. Whatever happened to the public’s right to know?"

It followed up on Friday with another scathing attack on the ruling, printing a redacted version of an article naming the celebrity that MailOnline ran in the US.

Daily Mail
A redacted version of an article naming the celebrity that MailOnline ran in the US.

The Mail also published an interview today with a man involved in the threesome that claimed he had been threatened by lawyers.

The Sun on Sunday published a similarly stinging attack on the original decision to ban naming of the celebrity and his husband that was made in January but published months later. 

It branded the move a "sex gag disgrace" and said the Court of Appeal had ruled "that his right to cheat beats your right to know".

The Sun on Sunday
A Sun on Sunday article from March 27.

Lawyers for the couple - referred to in court documents as 'PJS' and 'YMA' - had argued they were in an open relationship and the fact that they had children was a "relevant consideration". 

Some people simply disagreed there was a public interest angle in the story, and said it would have been intrusive to print details about the person's sex-life. 

But the decision to grant an injunction sparked fury from legal professionals over the use of children to defend adultery and its implications for freedom of speech.

A New York-based media lawyer, Mark Stephens, branded the move a "knee-jerk reaction" and claimed stars would think they could get away with promiscuity without details being reported in the press by having children. 

He told Radio 4's Media Show: "Effectively what we've got now is a watershed moment - an inflection moment.

"So the rich and famous with children are now going to be able to put forward these saccharin images and their primmed and preened images by their spin doctors to the public...

"The message that goes out to celebrities is that if you're going to have a ménage à trois or an open relationship, make sure you've got children because you'll be able to keep it from the public."

Injunctions, and the case against them, came under public scrutiny back in 2011, when Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs sought desperately to keep details of his affair with ex-Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas out of the press.

Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport
The ex-Wales midfielder Ryan Giggs tried to hide details of his cheating.

Giggs took out a 'super injunction', meaning it could not even be reported that he had taken out a court order banning publications of the information, but could not combat his name and details of the relationship circulating on social media and in other countries

In May that year, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name Giggs. The footballer gave up all rights to anonymity less than ten months later. 

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