Ferdinand loses privacy action
Rio Ferdinand has lost his privacy action over a "kiss and tell" story.
The England and Manchester United centre back was not at London's High Court to hear Mr Justice Nicol dismiss his claim against MGN Ltd.
Ferdinand, 32, brought his case for misuse of private information over an April 2010 Sunday Mirror article in which interior designer Carly Storey gave her account of their 13-year relationship in return for £16,000.
The judge said: "Overall, in my judgment, the balancing exercise favours the defendant's right of freedom of expression over the claimant's right of privacy."
Ferdinand had branded the piece - "My affair with England captain Rio" - a "gross invasion of my privacy", and said he had not seen Ms Storey for six years by the time it appeared. At a hearing in July, his lawyers asked for a maximum of £50,000 damages and a worldwide gagging order.
Afterwards, Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver said in a statement: "The Sunday Mirror is very pleased that the court has rejected Rio Ferdinand's privacy claim.
"The judge found that there was a justified public interest in reporting the off-pitch behaviour of the then England captain and discussion of his suitability for such an important and ambassadorial role representing the country.
"There has never been greater scrutiny of the media than now, and we applaud this ruling in recognising the important role a free press has to play in a democratic society."
Law firm Simons Muirhead & Burton issued the following statement on Ferdinand's behalf: "We are extremely disappointed with the court's decision and do not believe that it represents the law as it stands.
"It is our view that these are clearly private matters that ought never to have been published. We will be appealing the judgment at the first available opportunity."