Helen Wood Actor-Type Celebrity Injunctions Will Continue To Be Broken, US Editor Vows

Editor promises to continue naming celebrities behind gagging orders.

06/05/2016 15:31 | Updated 09 May 2016

The editor of a US tabloid who identified both a celebrity threesome couple and the married actor that Helen Wood reportedly had sex with, has vowed to continue naming those hiding behind "absurd" injunction laws. 

The publication, which The Huffington Post UK can't reveal as it could lead to the identification of the stars involved, last month printed the names of 'PJS' and his partner 'YMA'. The couple, who can not be named in England and Wales, sought a court order to keep a threesome PJS had secret.

The US magazine also last week named the actor who is said to have paid £195 to have sex with Wood, who was at the time working as a prostitute. The Big Brother winner is known for having previously had an affair with England footballer Wayne Rooney while his wife Coleen was pregnant with their first child.

The editor said his newspaper has "never shied away" from publishing or "tackling very serious issues" and would continue to pursue stories in Britain.

The editor of a US tabloid has vowed to keen exposing celebrities hiding behind injunctions, such as the actor allegedly involved with Helen Wood, pictured

He told The Telegraph: "We believe our readers have the right to know about the professional and personal lives of these types of celebrities and we are not going to shy away from that.

"The notion that a celebrity can seek an injunction to prohibit material from being published in traditional material when it is available in new media is ridiculous.”

When asked by The Telegraph if the tabloid would expose further British figures hiding behind injunctions, the editor said, "watch this space".

He was further dismayed when told that media outlets in England and Wales were even forbidden from naming his publication, in connection with the injunctions, as it could lead to the celebrities involved being identified.

“That highlights the absurdity of the situation," he said.

Daily Mail
How the Daily Mail covered the Helen Wood injunction this week 

It has been reported that more than 15 celebrities who have won gagging orders face having their secrets exposed, including a Premier League manager, several well-known actors and sportsmen.

The Supreme Court is due to decide this month whether PJS and his married partner YMA can be named. The Court of Appeal overturned the injunction, ruling that it was redundant given the pairs' names had been widely circulated. The matter then went to the Supreme Court. The pair have already been named in the US, Scotland, and across social media. 

Wood on Friday appeared on ITV's This Morning where she said she regretted detailing the encounter she had with the actor.

She told the programme: “I massively regret the comments I made in a backhanded interview I did years ago.

"I was prompted to do certain things.

"I shouldn’t have done that, it’s shameful that I’ve said those things about him."

Mark Stephens, media lawyer at legal firm Howard Kennedy, said he expected to see more foreign publications naming stars who were subject to privacy injunctions in Britain.

He said: “Global stars seem to have fallen for the soft sell of claimant lawyers promising the earth but delivering a target to the backs of celebrities.

“We can now expect to see a weekly stream of publications in foreign publications, each and every one breaching English privacy orders.

Last month, the president of the Supreme Court said individuals could still challenge the “more intense” dissemination of information that is already in the public arena.

Lord Neuberger said: “The fact that information about an individual is in the public arena does not necessarily prevent that individual from challenging its dissemination more widely, more intensely or more permanently.

“And in the traditional world of hard copy, most information would be difficult to access a year later. Yesterday’s newspaper would be today’s fish and chip wrapping, and tomorrow’s waste material.

“However, in the brave new world of webpages, yesterday’s news will be accessible not merely next year but next century, and it is relatively easily findable through a search engine.”

  • 1 1. Jeremy Clarkson
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Back in 2011, Jeremy Clarkson confessed to using a super-injunction to prevent his ex-wife from responding to allegations they had sex while he was still married. 

    He was initially referred to in reports as "a married TV star" when the injunction was enforced, but Clarkson later revealed himself to be the presenter in question. 

    He later said: "Injunctions don't work... it's pointless."

    The 'Top Gear' star told the Daily Mail: “One, most importantly, injunctions don’t work.

    "You take out an injunction against somebody or some organisation and immediately news of that injunction and the people involved and the story behind the injunction is in a legal-free world on Twitter and the internet. It’s pointless."
  • 2 2. John Terry
    Adam Davy/PA Archive
    Chelsea captain John Terry took out a gagging order preventing newspapers from reporting his affair with the ex-girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge. 

    The injunction was heavily criticised and just a few days later was lifted by a judge, who decided that freedom of speech should take precedence over privacy. 
  • 3 3. Ryan Giggs
    Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport
    The ex-Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs took legal action to secure a super-injunction to stop the press reporting his affair with ex-Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas. 

    But later that year Twitter users began naming him, a Scottish paper published a poorly anonymised photo of him in connection with the story and Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name the man himself.

    The footballer gave up all rights to anonymity less than ten months later, in February 2012. 
  • 4 4. Andrew Marr
    Steve Parsons/PA Archive
    Political stalwart Andrew Marr revealed in 2011 that he had taken out a super-injunction to suppress reports of an affair with a fellow journalist. 

    The BBC presenter had been criticised by 'Private Eye' editor Ian Hislop, who said that Marr, as a journalist himself, had been a "touch hypocritical". 

    Hislop said at the time: "As a leading BBC interviewer who is asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction while working as an active journalist."

    Marr said he was "embarrassed" about the gagging order and told the BBC: "I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists."
  • 5 5. Rio Ferdinand
    John Walton/PA Wire
    Rio Ferdinand, the BT Sport Pundit, lost a High Court privacy action over a story in the Sunday Mirror about an alleged affair. 

    The married former Manchester United centre-back was seeking substantial damages for "misuse of private information".

    In court, the judge, Mr Justice Nicol, smacked down the claim, saying: "Overall, in my judgement, the balancing exercise favours the defendant's right of freedom of expression over the claimant's right of privacy."

    He continued: "At one level it was a 'kiss and tell' story. Even less attractively, it was a 'kiss and paid for telling' story, but stories may be in the public interest even if the reasons behind the informant providing the information are less than noble."
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