Tuesday, 2 January 2007
Last month I received what is known in this business as a 'hot tip' - insider information that is very reliable.
Then last Saturday, the Daily Mail newspaper (UK) broke the story of Earl Spencer's budding romance with WDTN news anchor Coleen Sullivan. I got the first picture of the two of them together in Cape Town. The Sun's headline was 'Slimy Spencer with new beauty'...
Ten years ago Charles, Earl Spencer took me to court here in South Africa. The charge was 'invasion of privacy'. The Earl was attracting considerable media attention at the time from the fallout after the breakdown of his first marriage and his numerous affairs.
The general background of the case is relayed below (from the Freedom of Expression's Institute's website. They took up my case.
20. SPENCER v JASON
Freedom of expression issue at stake: law of privacy
The Cape Supreme Court issued a temporary interdict restraining photographer Fanie Jason from, among other things, photographing the Earl of Spencer without his consent, unless such photographing occurs while he is attending a "public function as a public figure". Two issues were at stake: The threat to the principle that a public figure can be photographed at any time in public; and the assertion that Lord Spencer, Princess Diana's brother, is not a public figure. Both did not bode well for freedom of the media. At the trial judges's order, the matter was ultimately settled and the principle that the media has the right to photograph public figures in public places was agreed by the Earl. The settlement was made an order of Court.
Status of the case: Settled