A Co Antrim woman whose private photos appeared on a website for prostitutes has received legal permission to sue its United States-based operators.
Lawyers for the woman, who cannot be identified, were granted leave by a Master at the High Court in Belfast yesterday to serve proceedings out of jurisdiction, namely the United States.
Her barrister, Peter Girvan, has lodged a writ claiming damages for the misuse of photos taken by an ex-partner.
According to court papers, four pictures of the woman appeared on a site which advertises prostitution services, leaving her distraught over the ordeal of being wrongly associated with the vice trade.
Fears were also disclosed that a campaign of harassment which led to her leaving her home town and moving into a refuge may be linked to the unauthorised publication.
An affidavit sworn in the case sets out that the photos were taken while she was dating her ex-partner.
She is said to be worried that they may have been circulated among his friends as well as on the site. It was stressed that she never consented to the pictures being seen by anyone other than her former partner, “and even then obviously within the context of her relationship”. She contacted the website to request their removal but nothing was done, according to her case.
Mr Girvan, instructed by Hilary Carmichael Solicitors, is now set to issue injunction proceedings in a bid to have the photos taken down.
He has also secured an order to protect the anonymity of his client and any use of the pictures.
But, as part of a wider lawsuit, the woman is seeking damages for the misuse of private information and being wrongly depicted as a prostitute and/or sex worker.
Her case has been advanced by the High Court granting leave to serve proceedings out of jurisdiction on a defendant with a listed address in New York.