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Actor wins court bid to prevent publication of 'revenge porn'

Published 12/10/2015

A successful actor has won a High Court ruling preventing the publication of sexually explicit material
A successful actor has won a High Court ruling preventing the publication of sexually explicit material

A successful actor has won a High Court ruling preventing the publication of sexually explicit material in a case of "revenge porn".

The actor, who can only be identified as JPH, had been in a relationship with XYZ for a number of months, during which a number of photos and videos of nudity and sexual activity were taken on devices belonging to the actor, said Mr Justice Popplewell, who granted the order on Saturday.

The previous day, XYZ had threatened to post the images on social media, with the intention that they would go "viral", or get them published in magazines out of revenge for JPH having ended the relationship, and with a view to persuading him to resume it.

XYZ also sent an email to a former partner of JPH, which gave graphic details of alleged sexual activity by JPH while in a relationship with XYZ, and later sent the former partner two explicit videos.

JPH was also told that locked files with copies of the images had been lodged with two unidentified friends who would be authorised to get them published should the police become involved.

Shortly before Saturday's hearing in London, which was held in public but with the parties anonymised, a small number of the still images appeared on a website but JPH later succeeded in removing them.

Giving his reasons today for granting the interim non-disclosure order against XYZ and persons unknown, the judge said: "There is cogent, credible and as yet uncontradicted evidence that the photographs and videos were taken in circumstances where JPH had a strong case for asserting that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy and in circumstances attracting confidentiality.

"This engaged his rights to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights."

He said that the images and information involved intimate, graphic and sexually explicit material of a highly sensitive and personal nature and the effect of disclosure would be highly damaging to JPH both emotionally and financially, with damages not being an adequate remedy.

There was no discernible public interest in their publication, added the judge, and any argument for the protection of XYZ's rights of freedom of expression carried little weight when the threatened publication was motivated by revenge and - it was to be inferred - possibly blackmail.

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