Celebrities and the media - Naomi Campbell loses on appeal another by xwj18813


									issue 109
October 2002

Celebrities and the media –
Naomi Campbell loses on appeal
another case note from India Act and that
In a well publicised case earlier this question breached the
year, supermodel Naomi Campbell            the exemption for journalistic
successfully sued the Mirror               material did not apply as it was
newspaper for breach of confidence         limited to pre-publication processing.
and breach of the Data Protection Act
1998, following publication of her         On appeal, MNG obtained leave to
attendance at meetings of Narcotics        argue that publication of the articles
Anonymous (“NA”). See our Alert 89         did not amount to ‘processing’ under
for a summary of the case.                 the Act and, therefore, fell outside the
                                           Act altogether. It also argued that, in
Mirror Group Newspapers (“MNG”)            any event, it would be entitled to rely
appealed to the Court of Appeal. Its       on the journalistic material
decision, handed down earlier this         exemption.
month, represents a big win for
publishers of information about            The Court held that the Act defines
celebrities.                               ‘processing’ sufficiently widely to
                                           cover these publications, but the
breach of confidence                       Mirror was entitled to publish under
                                           the journalistic material exemption.
Miss Campbell conceded that because
she had falsely claimed she did not        our comment
use drugs, the media was entitled to
put the record straight. However, she      This decision may encourage the
argued this could have been achieved       publication of details of the private
without disclosing details of her          lives of celebrities. Certainly, where a
treatment, and such disclosure             celebrity has misled the public about
amounted to a breach of confidence.        his/her private life, a publisher will be
                                           entitled to set the record straight and,
The Court of Appeal found that as the      in doing so, to publish any necessary
Mirror was entitled to publish the fact    surrounding details. Also, it is now
that Miss Campbell was a drug addict,      clear that the journalistic exemption
it was also entitled to publish the fact   in the Act is not restricted to pre-
that she attended NA meetings. The         publication processing.
added information was not significant
and its publication did not, therefore,    However, publication must be in the
amount to a breach of confidence.          public interest, and publishers should
Publication of this additional             note the Court of Appeal’s warning
information, including photographs,        that it will not necessarily be in the
was a legitimate part of the               public interest to demonstrate that
journalistic package designed to           someone who has been adopted as a
demonstrate that Miss Campbell had         role model has ‘feet of clay’.
deceived the public when she said she
did not take drugs.
                                            For further information, please phone or
                                            email your usual contact or email
Data Protection Act (“the Act”)             alert@iprights.com. For previous Alerts,
The Judge at first instance had found       http://www.iprights.com/our_publications/
that publication of the articles in

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