Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Walliams fails in harassment claim

David Walliams and Lara Stone took out a temporary injunction against unknown photographers before their wedding
David Walliams and Lara Stone took out a temporary injunction against unknown photographers before their wedding

David Walliams and his model wife Lara Stone have failed to bring a harassment claim against a freelance photographer.

High Court judge Mr Justice Eady said that Jani Jance should not be used as a "scapegoat" for the alleged behaviour of paparazzi in the run-up to the couple's May 2010 wedding.

Jance admitted taking two or three photos outside their London home on one occasion that month, but said they were not of sufficient quality or interest for him to make use of.

He did not accept he had either then or subsequently harassed the couple or done anything illegal.

Two days before their marriage, Britain's Got Talent judge David and his bride-to-be won a temporary injunction against persons unknown - paparazzi identified only as WXY - who had pursued them for photos.

They then applied for Jance, who they could identify, to be joined to those proceedings, and bring them to a close by converting the existing order into a permanent injunction.

But today the judge said he should not allow any individual to be joined as a defendant, simply because he was the only person who could be identified, on the basis that he was a convenient "peg" by which the litigation could be disposed of.

David and Lara did not accept this was a fair characterisation of what they hoped to achieve as they regarded Jance as someone who might harass them in the future unless restrained by a court order, he added.

Jance had been served with the injunction against WXY, which he was bound by, and did not accept he had breached it since. Lara appeared to accept he had stopped photographing her but said she sometimes found his presence intimidating.

A spokesman for the celebrity couple said: "An application was made to ensure a paparazzo complied with an order not to harass Lara Stone and David Walliams. He has been named on the Order and accepts it applies to him. David and Lara are satisfied with the outcome and won't be taking any further action."

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