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GP Week : Issue 21
> F1NEWS> Mosley victorious, launches libel case AS widely predicted, FIA President Max Mosley has been successful in his privacy case against British Newspaper the News of the World over allegations that an orgy in which he had been involved had contained Nazi themes. The manner of his victory however was slightly more underwhelming than had been anticipated. With Mosley battling for exemplary damages and legal commentators claiming the case could break new ground in UK privacy law, the Judge, Mr Justice Eady, claimed that the decision should in no way be viewed as landmark and refused Mosley’s claims for exemplary damages, awarding the FIA President just £60,000 (US$118,000) plus legal costs. Mosley was delighted with his victory. “I hope my case will help deter newspapers in the UK from pursuing this type of invasive and salacious journalism,”he said in a statement. “I have learnt first hand how devastating an invasion of privacy can be and how readily papers like the News of the World will destroy lives in the knowledge that few of their victims will dare sue them. I want to encourage a change in that practice.” “As I promised at the outset, the damages will go to the FIA Foundation to further their work for road safety and the environment.” NOTWEditor Colin Mylar was disappointed to have lost the case, after the Judge ruled that no element of Nazi role play could be proved. “The judge has ruled that Mr Mosley’s activities did not involve Nazi role- play as we had reported,”he said, “but has acknowledged that the News of the World had an honest belief that a Nazi theme was involved during the orgy. The newspaper believed that what it published was legitimate and lawful and, moreover, that publication was justified by the public interest in exposing Mr Mosley’s serious impropriety. “As the elected head of the FIA, Mr Mosley is the leader of the richest sport in the world, with a global membership of almost 125 million. This newspaper has always maintained that because of his status and position he had an obligation to honour the standards which his vast membership had every right to expect of him. Taking part in depraved and brutal S&M orgies on a regular basis does not in our opinion, constitute the fit and proper behaviour to be expected of someone in his hugely influential position.” Mr Justice Eady reflected in his findings that Mosley had largely been the author of his own misfortune. “Many would think that if a prominent man puts himself, year after year, into the hands (literally and metaphorically) of prostitutes… he is gambling in placing so much trust in them. There is a risk of exposure or blackmail inherent in such a course of conduct. To a casual observer … it might seem that the claimant’s behaviour was reckless and almost self-destructive ... It could be thought unreasonable to absolve him of all responsibility for placing himself and his family in the predicament in which they now find themselves. It is part and parcel of human dignity that one must take at least some responsibility for one’s own actions.” With a privacy case victory in his pocket and the Nazi allegations against his name cleared, Mosley is now set to launch libel proceedings against the paper. “Following his successful privacy claim, and the attempts by the editor and staff of the News of the World to devalue the outcome of that claim, Mr. Mosley will now be pursuing a claim for damages and aggravated damages in relation to the defamatory allegations in the April 6 edition of the News of the World,”a statement from his lawyers read. Mosley has also launched proceedings against German publishers Axel Springer, which owns Bild. He is claiming over €1million (US$1.57m) in damages for their reporting of the orgy and its alleged Nazi theme.