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Ryan Giggs wreaks media havoc, Imogen that

Tue 2011-May-24 @ +08 05:51:00 am

Imogen Thomas in a Page Three photo shoot for the Daily Star (UK). » Watch video

The Twitter world has been buzzing for a week all about Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs having had an affair with TV reality show celebrity Imogen Thomas (right). Of media interest is the gag his lawyers obtained, by a superinjunction preventing anyone from revealing anything about the matter, not even who took out the gag.

No one — within British legal jurisdiction anyway — was allowed to say who obtained the injunction (it was Ryan Giggs), or what the case was about (to stop Imogen Thomas talking about having an affair with Giggs, lasting six months).

That didn’t stop Twitter users, of course, who repeatedly named Giggs as the man who had an affair with Thomas.

Giggs’ lawyers tried to get Twitter, which is based in California and out of British jurisdiction, to reveal their names. The top British judge severely criticised those who flouted the gag and threatened jail terms even for MPs. But David Cameron, the prime minister, spoke out to cast doubt on the need for such gags. At the weekend, a Scottish newspaper finally broke the injunction. And in Parliament on Monday, an MP revealed Ryan Gigg’s name, using parliamentary privilege.

Superinjunctions came into the news last year when the Guardian revealed that it had been gagged from naming a British firm involved in dumping waste in Africa. The injunction was withdrawn within hours after the Guardian’s editor Tweeted the news. (» Lawyers attack press freedom by gagging journalists) (» Changes recommended)

Giggs’s affair on Twitter:

Q&A: Super-injunctions

A report by top judges has recommended changes to the way the courts deal with so-called super-injunctions and other anonymity orders in important cases. » BBC News

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