UK court issues injunction in Woods case
A British judge has barred journalists in the country from
publishing some material about golfer Tiger Woods.
An injunction issued Thursday even blocks media including The
Associated Press from revealing the details of the order itself. As
a result, media who obey the order cannot tell the public what they
have been barred from revealing.
News organizations based outside of the UK ignored the order,
however. The celebrity Web site TMZ published a copy of the
The order was imposed Thursday afternoon by High Court Justice
David Eady after it was sought by Schillings, the firm representing
Woods in Britain.
London-based media lawyer Nigel Tait said such an injunction
would have been unlikely in the United States, where reporting on
the private lives of public figures is given greater
Britain has no formal privacy law but it is a signatory to the
European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to
respect for privacy and family life. Celebrities have increasingly
used this clause to fight media exposes.
They also have sought redress in British laws governing libel,
which have traditionally been seen as friendlier to claimants than
those in the United States.
Many foreigners have sued the media over articles they would
likely have lost in their own countries. Libel laws in the United
States, for example, require someone to prove that an article was
both false and published maliciously. British law places the burden
of proof on the publisher.
Woods has been dogged by questions about his personal life in
the weeks since a car accident outside his home in the middle of
the night led to the release of sordid allegations about multiple
The world’s No. 1 golfer issued a public apology after
disclosing his “personal failings” and acknowledged he had “not
been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.”
Though he has appealed for privacy, allegations of illicit
liaisons by Woods have been regularly appearing in global
This has been especially true in Britain, where the tabloid
press seized upon the story, offering a daily account of the number
of women who have claimed affairs with Woods, often along with the
“The lawyers are trying to put a lid on these allegations, to
contain them before they get to a level that’s perhaps just
salacious,” media lawyer Ambi Sitham said. “Levels of privacy