Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Gagging orders 'revealed in tweets'

The messages on Twitter were an attempt to get around gagging orders supposedly taken out against the media

A Twitter user has set up an account claiming to expose celebrities who have obtained injunctions to prevent reporting about their private lives.

The messages on the microblogging site, which can be read by anyone online, were an attempt to get around gagging orders supposedly taken out against the media.

By Monday morning the user had attracted more than 20,000 followers and the content of the posts was discussed very widely on Twitter.

But the messages contained serious errors, including a false claim that socialite and campaigner Jemima Khan had stopped publication of pictures of her with Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Khan wrote on Twitter: "Rumour that I have a super injunction preventing publication of 'intimate' photos of me and Jeremy Clarkson. NOT TRUE!"

There is growing disquiet about celebrities' use of injunctions and "super-injunctions" - whose very existence cannot be reported - to prevent publication of details about their private lives.

A committee examining the use of injunctions to bind the media was set up in April last year by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, and is expected to report later this month.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old woman at the centre of an injunction preventing a married actor from being identified told BBC Radio 5 Live she believed the release of the names on Twitter made a mockery of gagging orders.

Helen Wood, who reportedly had sex with Wayne Rooney and another call girl Jennifer Thompson before England's World Cup campaign last summer, said she no longer worked as an escort.

"Injunctions have been put there for a purpose. Obviously, I don't agree with them and I am certainly not a fan of them by any means, but to publicise them like that on Twitter without actual proof... I think they are doing the wrong thing," she said in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire.

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