A DAMAGES claim by Manchester United and Wales footballer Ryan Giggs against The Sun newspaper has been thrown out by a High Court judge.
Giggs claimed that The Sun had “misused” private information and argued that he was entitled to claim damages for distress and breach of a right to privacy enshrined in human rights legislation.
But The Sun had argued that Giggs’s claim – made after the newspaper published an article about a relationship with reality TV star Imogen Thomas – is “dead in the water” and should be stopped.
Mr Justice Tugendhat heard arguments at a High Court hearing in London last month and delivered his ruling yesterday.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Giggs, argued at a hearing on February 21 that The Sun misused private information in the article, in which Giggs was not identified.
Mr Tomlinson said Giggs was claiming damages for the subsequent re-publication of information in other newspapers and on the internet, and argued that his claim should go to trial.
He suggested that The Sun article “generated a large media storm” and said the damages claim was about “providing effective protection” for Giggs’s right to privacy – enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Richard Spearman QC, for The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers, said the article reported Ms Thomas’s relationship with a Premier League player and did not identify Giggs.
He said The Sun behaved “properly” and was not responsible for what happened after the article appeared.
Mr Spearman said legal action had been “spun along for a long, long time” – an allegation Mr Tomlinson described as being “wholly without foundation” – and told the court: “Going forward, there just is not a basis.”
In a written judgment handed down in London yesterday, Mr Justice Tugendhat said he had decided to “refuse to grant relief” to Giggs.