Mr Justice Eady’s decision to grant an injunction to “well-known footballer” CTB on the basis he was blackmailed by reality television star Imogen Thomas was called into question today in an unusual High Court hearing.
The footballer’s anonymity order remains in place but in the High Court today David Price QC of David Price & Advocates read a statement in open court acknowledging that Thomas had not blackmailed the footballer.
Price, who represents Thomas, said the judgment delivered by Eady J on 16 May containing allegations of blackmail were “widely and prominently reported by the media as if it were established fact. This was not correct. It has been extremely damaging and distressing to Ms Thomas”.
In his May judgment Eady J said that while CTB made no direct allegations of blackmail against Thomas the evidence appeared to suggest that that was the case.
The media storm surrounding the use of anonymity orders – or super injunctions – focused on CTB and his relationship with Thomas in May. Schillings partner Gideon Benaim instructed Matrix Chambers’ Hugh Tomlinson QC to represent CTB (6 June 2011).
The row erupted as the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, said newspapers should be given advance warning of injunction applications (20 May 2011).
In a statement Thomas said: “To suddenly have to defend my character, because of this legal process, has been extremely upsetting and stressful. I’m just relieved that the parties and the court now accept that I’m no blackmailer. I have been vindicated and that’s all I wanted. I have nothing to add – it’s all behind me now.”