Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 19:45 UK

Mosley plans European Court bid


Max Mosley says he wishes to stop tabloids 'ruining people's lives'

Motorsport boss Max Mosley is taking his challenge to privacy laws to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr Mosley successfully sued the News of the World newspaper over claims that an orgy he took part in had a Nazi theme.

He told the BBC he wanted to close a legal loophole which allows editors to publish revelations without first contacting the individual concerned.

Mr Mosley, president of motorsport's governing body FIA, denied he was being motivated by a need for revenge.

Privacy ruling

Mr Mosley said: "We're going to Strasbourg to say that English law is inadequate to enforce the European Convention on Human Rights, and the right to privacy.

A newspaper can simply publish very private information, completely illegally, without the victim of the publication having any opportunity to stop it."

If he won, he said, the British government would have to introduce regulations meaning an editor would have to tell the person involved in a story that it was about to be published.

The days when they could just toss out the 100, 200, 400m euros a year, which is what Formula One costs those big companies, I think they are finished
Max Mosley

He said it was "absolutely wrong" that it was possible to read in the papers a story about a harmless person which would involve them "having their life ruined, losing their job, being put in a difficult position with their neighbours and their family...

"It's just absolutely wrong and if you're in a position to do something about it, and I am, then you should.

"You shouldn't just say 'well that's all right, it doesn't matter if they ruin people's lives every weekend'.

"Now's an opportunity to stop that happening and it's my intention to do that if I can."

Earlier this year, the High Court ruled that the News of the World breached Mr Mosley's privacy, and awarded him 60,000 in damages.

Mr Mosley admitted a sado-masochistic sex session with five prostitutes, but denied that it had a Nazi theme. His father was the 1930s British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

He said he thought that was the only reason the News of the World made the Nazi accusation.

'Intensely embarrassing'

"If I hadn't been my father's son I doubt they would've made the allegation because there was no basis to it at all," he said.

"They were destroyed in the witness box when they were cross-examined about it because there was just nothing there.

"So I think they invented that because of my antecedents and that was a really disgusting thing to do and they shouldn't have done it."

Mr Mosley said he had been surprised when the orgy story surfaced.

"If it came out, it would be intensely embarrassing. But I thought it wouldn't come out for two reasons," he said.

"One was that I was very, very careful about what I did and who with.

"And secondly it's completely illegal to publish that sort of thing. And you assume that the newspapers will more or less obey the law."

Mr Mosley said he did not believe his reputation had been damaged by the revelation that he had effectively been lying to his wife about his private life for decades.

"That's what happens in real life. I mean, you shouldn't do it but it is between you and your wife, it's not something to be discussed by the gutter press for the purposes of general information," he said.

"So it's a thing you shouldn't do but at the end of the day I'm sorry to say, human nature being as it is, it's not exactly uncommon."

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