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The High Court has refused to throw out misuse of private information claims brought by celebrity Katie Price against her ex-husband Peter Andre, ex-manager Claire Powell, and ex-friend Jamelah Asmar.
Mr Justice Tugendhat
Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled last month that Price could take her case to full trial despite a strike-out attempt from Admar, who had also claimed that the suit was an abuse of process.
Mark Bateman of media boutique Acherfield Partners instructed 1 Brick Court’s Aidan Eardley for Price.
He opposed arguments put forward by David Price QC, of David Price Solicitors and Advocates, that Ms Price had put so much of her own personal information into the public eye that any expectation of privacy she might have should be overridden.
Price is instructed directly to lead Korieh Duodu of the same firm for Asmar. Simons Muirhead & Burton are instructed for Powell and CAN Associates, while Lee & Thompson is instructed for Andre.
The dispute involves allegations from Ms Price that Powell, who had been manager to both Ms Price and Andre prior to the couple’s split, had conspired with her ex-husband Andre and Asmar to smear her reputation.
The central allegation concerns an affidavit Asmar wrote following an article in Now magazine with comments attributed to Price. Andre had threatened the publication with defamation proceedings and Asmar provided the affidavit in support.
According to Tugendhat J’s judgment, Powell allegedly tried to sell the affidavit to the now defunct News of the World with the knowledge of Asmar, despite it revealing information about the man Ms Price claimed had raped her. This, Ms Price claims, constituted misuse of private information.
Price contended that no story was printed and therefore no harm was done to Ms Price, furthermore that the claim was not launched until two years after the meeting between Asmar and the journalists.
Ms Price’s damages claim, he added, was based on injury to feelings, whereas she had in the past volunteered such facts of a similar nature.
Eardley, however, said Ms Price had been “tremendously hurt and upset” and that her evidence should not be dismissed summarily.
In his judgment Tugendhat J said the case was a “lamentable renewal of civil litigation” between Andre and Price and urged them to resolve the issue for their two young children.
Nevertheless, he said the case could proceed to full trial. He said Eardley’s arguments for Ms Price were to be preferred but, he continued: “A very different picture may emerge if the case does go to trial. At that point the court could with hindsight take the view that Mr Price’s submissions were well founded.”