Celebrity loses bid to keep sex story ban but wins time to seek appeal

A celebrity who wants to keep his name out of a tabloid newspaper story has lost the latest round of a legal battle.

Three Court of Appeal judges ruled on Monday that an injunction barring The Sun on Sunday from naming the man should be lifted.

But the man wants the Supreme Court - the highest in the UK - to analyse the case.

And the appeal judges said the injunction would stay in place for 48 hours - to give the man's lawyers time to make an application to the Supreme Court.

Sun On Sunday editors want to publish an account of the man's alleged extra-marital activities.

But the man argued that he had a privacy right and took legal action.

The newspaper won the first round in January when a High Court judge refused to impose an injunction barring publication.

But the man appealed - and two appeal court judges ruled in his favour.

Lord Justice Jackson and Lady Justice King imposed an injunction preventing the newspaper from identifying the man in an article.

Lawyers for News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun On Sunday, then asked three appeal judges to lift the ban.

They said at a Court of Appeal hearing on Friday that the ban should go because the man has been named in articles abroad and his identity could be found on the internet.

The man opposed the application and said the ban should stay in place.

But Lord Justice Jackson, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Simon ruled in the newspaper's favour on Monday. 

"Knowledge of the relevant matters is now so widespread that confidentiality has probably been lost," said Lord Justice Jackson in Monday's ruling.

"Much of the harm which the injunction was intended to prevent has already occurred."

He added: "The court should not make orders which are ineffective. It is, in my view, inappropriate (some may use a stronger term) for the court to ban people from saying that which is common knowledge."

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