FIA boss plans to sue media over orgy case

Motor racing chief Max Mosley says he is considering taking libel and legal action against media outlets across Europe over reports of a sado-masochistic orgy he took part in.

On Thursday, Mosley (68) won £60 000 in damages at London’s High Court from Britain’s News of the World tabloid newspaper for breaching his privacy by reporting details of a German-themed sex session with five prostitutes.

In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, the president of Formula One’s governing body said he now intended to sue the News of the World for libel and was also pursuing legal action against media organisations notably in France, Germany and Italy for publishing intrusive photographs without his consent.

”I feel very strongly that some newspapers literally ruin people’s lives and more has to be done to stop this,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.

The News of the World‘s story, published in March, claimed Mosley, son of Britain’s 1930s Fascist leader Oswald Mosley, had taken part in a ”sick Nazi orgy”.

The story gained worldwide attention, and Mosley faced pressure to quit his job. However he held on after winning a confidence vote at an extraordinary general assembly of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

In court, Mosley revealed that his wife of 48 years had had no idea about his long time sado-masochistic fetish. He said he had frequently paid up to £2 500 a time to have prostitutes beat, whip and humiliate him.

The court backed his assertion there had been no Nazi element to the orgy publicised in the paper, and the woman who filmed it also agreed there had been no such overtones.

”It was never talked about that it was going to be a Nazi scene, we just had confirmation to say that it was going to be a German prison scenario,” the self-confessed dominatrix told Sky News in an interview following the verdict.

In its editorial on Sunday, the News of the World argued the public had a right to know about Mosley’s behaviour because of his role with the FIA.

That view received the backing of Lord George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, who said the case had set a ”dangerous precedent” for free speech and public morality.

”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,” Carey wrote in an article for the News of the World.

”Today it is possible to have your cake and eat it.” – Reuters

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