The British media is ramping up its crusade against celebrity injunctions by highlighting a gagging order taken out by a married 'family man' actor, who reportedly had sex with reality television star Helen Wood.
The married actor allegedly paid for sex with Wood, 30, the former escort who once claimed she had an affair with England footballer Wayne Rooney while his wife Coleen was pregnant with their first child.
As the courts continue to ban the press from naming the 'celebrity threesome couple' in a case involving stars known as PJS and YMA, Wednesday's Sun complained the paper is "still gagged" from naming a married A-list TV actor who allegedly slept with with Wood.
Despite the court order blocking English and Welsh media from identifying the celebrity, the star at the centre of the Helen Wood injunction has been "outed" in a US magazine and named on Twitter.
Britain's best-selling newspaper says it wants to "expose" the TV actor who is a "hypocritical star, whose reputation as a family man has boosted his career."
His identity will be revealed by US media on Wednesday, The Sun reports, and could also available by searching on Google or Twitter.
The actor obtained the injunction five years ago.
Wood, who won Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, told the Sun that the actor paid £195 through an escort agency to have sex with her in March 2010.
She was initially not able to be named under the injunction, but its details were varied so her name can now be published.
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.
The married father has "a reputation as a family man and is a renowned star," the Mail claims, and "people around the world will know all about the sordid claims, but UK publications still cannot publish the details."
It stresses that the TV actor mentions his family in interviews and quotes Wood as saying: "He tries to come across with this persona as if he’s some fantastic family man. I don’t think a fantastic family man sleeps with escorts."
He has appeared in public with his wife and "continued his career as if everything was normal," the Mail reported.
The developments come as judges continue to deliberate over whether to lift a different injunction banning English and Welsh media from naming a married celebrity who reportedly had a threesome.
The Sun, which originally wanted to publish the story, criticised the injuction on its front page while the Daily Mail decalred "the law is an ass".
The court was expected to make a final decision on whether the celebrity, who allegedly had sex with another couple, and his world-famous spouse, identified as PJS and YMA in court respectively, could be named.
But The Supreme Court postponed making a decision on the celebrity injunction, meaning the press still cannot name the famous couple.
The celebrity has also been identified online and in numerous publications in areas not covered by the injunction, including an Australian website.
Media law expert David Banks told The Huffington Post UK that the five-year-old ruling could be being used by the Sun to keep up pressure on the use of injunctions in the wake of the PJS and YMA threesome case.
"They’ve got the bit between their teeth a little bit on injunctions that are keeping things secret which can be widely available overseas. So it might be that the Sun is having another little pop at this phenomenon,” Banks said.
He pointed out that the issue of foreign media exposing names kept secret by UK injunctions only arises when someone is "globally" famous.
Banks said the issue of privacy is a key battleground for the media globally, and the outcome of challenges to injunctions could determine whether the UK is influenced by the European idea of right to privacy, or the more American idea of freedom of information.
"It’s about where we as a society want to go," Banks said.
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."
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