The weird case of Helen Wood

Strange that it\’s currently illegal to tell the truth in the UK:

A leading actor granted a gagging order by a judge was trying to prevent the public discovering he had cheated on his wife with a prostitute, Helen Wood, whose clients include Wayne Rooney.

5 comments on “The weird case of Helen Wood

  1. If I remember my legal history, in the past if something was true the courts held that made the libel worse, not better.

    Tim adds: I’m not sure. I think that if your defence was “but it’s true!” and yet it wasn’t, that did make it worse. But truth itself is I think a defence to libel claims.

  2. @Richard: Tim’s addition is correct.

    But there are cases where telling the truth, or threatening to, is rightly punished in English law. It is called blackmail. You expect someone to pay you to retain control of embarrassing facts of their own life.

    Consider this argument for a privacy law, rather than ad hoc injunctions available only to the filthy rich: a tabloid kiss and tell is like a blackmail where a third party pays someone who is in a position to be a blackmailer to pass them some embarrassing facts of a victim’s life. And then sells them retail.

    Why is it worse to sell you your own life back than sell it on to a third party?

  3. I suppose because in blackmail, it’s not the telling of truth that is illegal, but the extortion Selling tattle to the papers is just voluntary exchange.

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