Judge Throws Out Manchester United Star's Damages Claim

2 March 2012, 09:52

A High Court judge has blown the final whistle on ``notorious'' legal action launched by Manchester United's Ryan Giggs against The Sun.

Giggs claimed the paper ``misused'' private information and that he was entitled to damages for distress and a breach of his privacy. 

Mr Justice Tugendhat said Giggs's claim for damages was unlikely to result in any ``significant award'' and concluded there was ``no purpose'' in allowing the litigation to continue.

The 38 year old sued after The Sun published an article about a relationship with reality television star Imogen Thomas - headlined ``Footie Star's Affair with Big Bro Imogen'' - on April 14, 2011.

The litigation became ``famous'' shortly afterwards when a judge ruled that Giggs should not be identified - but referred to as ``CTB'' - to protect his privacy.

In May, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name Giggs as the player involved in the case, speaking in the Commons. Giggs was subsequently named in the media and on the internet, even though the court order banning identification remained in place for several months.

Giggs's lawyer argued that The Sun had misused private information in the article even thought Giggs was not identified and he was claiming damages for the republication of information in other newspapers and on the internet.

The Sun's lawyers said the article had reported Ms Thomas's relationship with a Premier League player and had not identified Giggs and that the paper had behaved ``properly'' and was not responsible for what had happened after the article appeared.

Mr Justice Tugendhat sided with The Sun. ``It cannot be said that the claim for damages could give rise to any significant award, even if it could give rise to an award at all,'' said the judge, in a written ruling handed down at a hearing in London. ``There is in my judgment no purpose to be served by granting relief ... and I would refuse to do so.''

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