Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Imogen Thomas has a strange idea of what constitutes a reputation

No doubt you're aware of the less than edifying case just heard in the High Court in which former Big Brother 'star' (surprise surprise - can there be a more depressing phrase in our modern culture?) Imogen Thomas tried to have a gagging order lifted which had been imposed by a judge at the behest of a top-flight footballer with whom she'd allegedly had a six-month affair. The judge in this particular judgement ruled that the footballer's privacy was guarded under Human Rights legislation. So far so modern day Britain.

But outside the court after the ruling, Ms Thomas complained that her reputation had been 'trashed', and that she'd been 'thrown to the lions'. Well, I've got a few problems with her point of view, frankly. Firstly, she'd probably gone to the Sun with her story, as according to the judge, she had been identified by the newspaper 'probably with her consent'. This is not the action of somebody too desperate to protect their reputation - all you've got to do is keep your mouth shut about your indiscretions. Hiring Max Clifford, as she'd done, doesn't do a great deal for any reputation you may have for a desire to protect your good name either.

Secondly, the judge said there was 'strong evidence to suggest' that she'd tried to blackmail the bloke for £100,000, as he is a family man and she told him she was going to sell her story. (Sound like the 'love' she professed for him so far? No - I didn't think so either). The judge also said that there was evidence the footballer had been 'set up' for meetings at hotels, at which he'd be photographed with her. Thrown to the lions? She'd doused herself in zebra blood, draped a string of impala cutlets around her neck and chucked herself into the den with gusto, if you ask me. She has got exactly what she deserved. And a nice legal bill, hopefully.

A word on the people protected by the privacy injunction in the first place, too. I don't condone or have any sympathy for the man himself, whoever he may be - it's not difficult to find out who it is by looking on the internet, if you care. I don't, frankly. I don't give a damn about who footballers are or are not sleeping with, I really couldn't care less and don't know why people read such stuff. If you have a high profile and you misbehave you know the risk of exposure and public scorn that you face. But his wife and kids are entirely innocent in all this, and an injunction protects, up to a point, their privacy. They do deserve the protection of the law - if Ms Thomas did in fact give a damn about anything but herself, she may have given that some thought.

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