The recent proceedings issued by Paul Gascoigne against The Daily Star are illustrative of the fact that even the most talked about, or troubled celebrities have a right to privacy, and their private lives cannot simply be splashed across the pages of the tabloids.
Mr Gascoigne’s complaint stems from the publication of stills from a video that was taken by his alleged friend Shane Abbot. The video taken on Mr Abbot’s mobile phone was taken in Mr Gascoigne’s flat and apparently showed him slumped over, and mumbling incoherently. Given that the video was of Mr Gascoigne and was filmed in his private residence, without his permission, the video is on the face of it private material. Therefore printing it in the manner in which The Daily Star did is arguably contrary to Mr Gascoigne’s Article 8 right to privacy as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, hence the instigation of the proceedings by Mr Gascoigne.
The defamation angle of the claim comes from the allegation that Mr Gascoigne was caught injecting himself with cocaine, an allegation that he denies, and therefore argues is severely damaging to his reputation.
There can be no doubt that Mr Gascoigne’s battle with alcohol has been one of the most widely talked about subjects in the last few years, much like his footballing career was widely discussed when he played for Lazio, Newcastle, Tottenham and England, with Mr Gascoigne himself talking to the press about certain aspects of his struggles. However, just because these subjects are widely talked about, or information is offered up by Mr Gascoigne himself, does not mean that he gives away his right to privacy, or his right to protect his reputation, however damaged it might have been in certain places.
I would echo what Mr Gerald Shamash of law firm Steel & Shamash, Mr Gascoigne’s lawyer has said, \Despite his well-documented problems with alcohol, Paul is entitled to his privacy.\” Here here!!
The instigation of proceedings should give other individuals in the spotlight – who have struggled with wide press coverage, and been lambasted by the press on certain issues – encouragement to take steps to protect their inherent legal rights, such as the right to privacy and the right to safeguard their reputation. We at Pinder Reaux are specialists in dealing with such media related issues, and we do not judge on any previous criticisms levied against the reputation of a person in the media spotlight. If your privacy is breached it is breached, if your reputation is damaged it is damaged and we will help you aggressively protect your legal rights.