Premier League

Ferdinand acts against Mirror's affair allegations

Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand could struggle to play a part in every one of England's Euro 2012 fixtures
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Rio Ferdinand, the former England captain, launched a High Court privacy action Monday over a newspaper article alleging the married soccer star had conducted an adulterous affair.

The Manchester United defender is claiming the Sunday Mirror "wrongfully" published the article outlining a 13-year relationship Ferdinand had conducted with Carly Storey, an interior designer. The newspaper's publishers claim it was in the public interest to run the story about the 32-year-old, who has two sons and a daughter with wife Rebecca Ellison.

The breach of privacy case should, according to the defendants, touch upon the period when John Terry was sacked as England's captain because of allegations he had conducted an affair with the former girlfriend of a teammate. Ferdinand was subsequently appointed captain in February 2010 although Terry has since replaced him.

When the Sunday Mirror published its article in April 2010 there was, according to the newspaper's lawyer Gavin Millar, QC, a "heated debate" about the responsibilities inherent with the England captaincy.

Millar told the High Court Monday that around the time of John Terry's sacking there was "discussion about the role and status of the England captain ... it was a matter of public interest at the time."

He later continued, "There was an ongoing debate about the suitability of the claimant [Ferdinand] for the role of England World Cup captain."

He said that the England manager Fabio Capello, after sacking Terry, had said "the England captain is an example for young children."

Ferdinand, who is due to give evidence Tuesday, sat in court Monday dressed in a black suit, white shirt and black tie, constantly consulting with his legal team, led by Hugh Tomlinson, QC.

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