Page last updated at 08:22 GMT, Sunday, 27 July 2008 09:22 UK

Mosley 'to launch libel action'

Max Mosley
Max Mosley said his life had been devastated by the story

Motorsport boss Max Mosley has said he will sue for libel and pursue other legal action in Europe after his court victory over the News of the World.

He won 60,000 last week when a High Court judge ruled that the paper had infringed his privacy with a report of an orgy in which he took part.

Mr Mosley told the Sunday Telegraph he had been the victim of an unlawful act.

But former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said the case sets a "dangerous precedent".

Mr Mosley told the paper he planned to take legal action against media organisations in France, Germany and Italy which had published photographs or images without his consent.

"I am the victim of an unlawful act by someone else in the same way as I would be if I was mugged," he told the paper.

He added: "The [News of the World] stole my image and my dignity."

Mr Mosley, 68, has said his life has been devastated by the News of the World story and the posting of the video footage on his sado-masochistic sex session on its website.

A case can be clearly made for a direct link between private behaviour and public conduct
Lord Carey

Mr Justice Eady said there was no evidence that the orgy had a Nazi theme as the paper alleged.

But in his News of the World article, Lord Carey said the ruling for Mr Mosley served to undermine public morality.

Lord Carey - Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002 - said free speech has been the "first major victim".

Lord Carey writes: "Without public debate or democratic scrutiny, the courts have created a wholly new privacy law. In itself that's bad enough.

"But, as a Christian leader, I am deeply sad that public morality is the second victim of this legal judgement.

"Unspeakable and indecent behaviour, whether in public or in private, is no longer significant under this ruling."

'Serious consequences'

Mr Mosley is president of the FIA, the governing body for motor sports including Formula 1, and the son of the 1930s Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

Mr Mosley told the court the publicity had been "totally devastating" for his wife of 48 years, from whom he had kept secret his interest in sadomasochistic sex.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Eady said Mr Mosley could expect privacy for consensual "sexual activities (albeit unconventional)".

According to Lord Carey, in a "celebrity-obsessed age" this is a hazardous route to take.

"In the past, a public figure has known that scandalous and immoral behaviour carries serious consequences for his or her public profile, reputation and job.

"Today it is possible to both have your cake and to eat it. But a case can be clearly made for a direct link between private behaviour and public conduct.

"If a politician, a judge, a bishop or any public figure cannot keep their promises to a wife, husband, etc, how can they be trusted to honour pledges to their constituencies and people they serve?"

He said the court's decision would "needlessly shackle" the press and prevent investigations on matters of public interest.




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