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Court to hear celebrity injunction case

BBC News BBC News 19/04/2016
Royal Courts of Justice © BBC Royal Courts of Justice

A celebrity who wants an injunction to keep an extra-marital relationship out of the media will put his case at the Supreme Court on Thursday.

He is appealing against an appeal court ruling lifting a ban on him being named in the media in England and Wales.

The Supreme Court said it will now hear arguments about whether it should grant an appeal, and if so, decide if it should be "allowed or dismissed".

An interim injunction will remain in place until the end of the hearing.

On Monday, Court of Appeal judges gave the man - who has young children, and whose spouse is also in the public eye - until 10:00 BST on Tuesday to apply to take the case to the UK Supreme Court.

In that ruling, they said there must be no publication leading to disclosure of the celebrity's identity before 13:00 BST on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court said that interim injunction will now remain in place until the conclusion of the next hearing.

'Sexual encounters'

The Sun on Sunday wants to publish an account of alleged extra-marital activities by the man, who is referred to as PJS.

But he argues he has a right to privacy and has taken legal action.

Monday's court judgement said the celebrity had "occasional sexual encounters" with another person - referred to in court as AB - starting in 2009.

They had a text message exchange in December 2011 in which they discussed a "three-way" with AB's partner, CD.

Accordingly, the three met for a three-way sexual encounter.

In January, the two other parties approached the Sun On Sunday with the story.

That month a High Court judge refused to impose an injunction barring publication.

But the man appealed and two appeal court judges ruled in his favour. They prevented him being identified in publications in England and Wales.

Story spread

Lawyers for News Group Newspapers - publishers of the Sun On Sunday - then asked Court of Appeal judges to lift the ban.

They argued that stories had been published in the US, Scotland and elsewhere where the injunction does not apply. The story had also spread across the internet and on Twitter.

PJS opposed that application and said the ban should stay.

On Monday, the judges ruled that PJS was now unlikely to be able to get a permanent injunction

Details about the allegations were now "so widespread" that confidentiality had "probably been lost", they said.

The man's solicitors had been "assiduous" in monitoring the internet and removing stories in breach of the injunction but the judges said that it was now a "hopeless task".

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