Max Mosley’s “hanky spanky”: titillation or public interest?

July 24, 2008

mosley2.jpgMotor racing chief Max Mosley has won his privacy case against the News of the World, after a High Court judge backed his claim that the paper had no right to print details of his sado-masochistic orgies.

The News of the World had reported that Mosley, President of Formula One’s governing body and son of Britain’s 1930s fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, had taken part in a “sick Nazi orgy”.

But the judge backed Mosley’s claim that this was untrue and so reporting on the sex sessions was not justified.

The paper’s lawyers had argued the orgies were not just “hanky spanky” and its editor Colin Myler said he believed the story was of legitimate public interest.

The case is likely to pose questions for the media, with some commentators saying it will limit the freedom of the press and its reporting of well-known figures’ private lives in the future.

Was the paper right to print the story or is it a well-deserved slap in the face for intrusive tabloids? Tell us what you think.


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What a disgusting sick old man, and with those sort of sluts, they are dirty,and horried, he should be utterly disgusted with himself.

Posted by Chanella | Report as abusive

If Max Mosley was not Oswald Mosley’s son the whole “Nazi”
theme would have been be a non starter.
I wonder what rubbish we are going to get from the News of the World this weekend.
We haven’t had a “Gay bishop in kinky lesbian romp behind the church bike shed while wearing ladies frilly knickers on his head” for a while !!

Posted by RogerK | Report as abusive

The court’s decision was absolutely right. You only have to glance at the sleazy adverts carried in the back of the tabloids these days to see what hypocritical scum they and their readers really are.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Whether this revelation is in the pubic interest or not, we are all aware of the News of the World’s hypocrisy and real motives – provide the public with titillation and that way sell more newspapers. Already in my childhood, 70 years ago, my school chums and I used to pore through our parents’ copies on Sundays for code words like ‘intimate’.

Hopefully, however, Mr. Mosley will do the honourable thing and resign into obscurity so as to save his association further embarrassment.

“I used to worry I was a pervert until I read all the things that other people do.”

Posted by Brian Harris | Report as abusive

Since when did the News Of The World print anything “in the public interest”. It is in the sex comic book business managed by grubby little men who make up grubby little stories to entertain their grubby little readers.

I used to work with a Press Officer who had previously been a “reporter” (his own inverted commas) with the News Of the World. He said that at their daily “rush” meetings each would put forward their ideas of which stories to pursue and the whole gang would sit around the table literally giggling about who they were going to screw next.

Whether it was the likes of Mosley or some pathetic little girl who had run away from a middle class home and was selling herself for drug money made no difference. If there was a bit of dirt to be manufactured it was a good story. The prurience and malice of these people disgusted him to the extent that he left as soon as he could find a job paying the same money.

The paper was wrong to print the story because it has been shown to have broken the law.

The judge was wrong not to award punitive damages against the paper to encourage its owners to be more careful in careful. A couple of million pounds would have been noticed by them. The 60 thousand pounds awarded to Mosley is nothing more than petty cash for them and the court case is nothing more than good advertising, cheap at the price.

What Mosley (and anyone else) gets up to in their own time with their own money and within the law is their own business and the nasty little men who make money out of the News Of The World should have been given a bloody nose.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Where is the honour and integrity? This country just is a joke. This whole saga is a tragedy and there are no winners in this.

Posted by AS | Report as abusive

Max Mosley Nazi-esque sex-scandal will damage the public image of Formula 1???….Er…No! I don’t think so, and nor should it. I’d have thought it would have actually done wonders to enhance the decadent and recreational image of the sport.
What Mr Mosley or any other consenting adult chooses to legally do for personal gratification has no place as the main splash on a red-top or any other newspaper.

Keep it up, Max, and all power to you.

Posted by Drew Brown | Report as abusive

As long as what people do in private, sexually, is not violent or abusive, involves rape or physical torture, then it is absolutely NONE of our business.

I agree with the judge, and also with the sentiments that heap charges of cant hypocrisy and abject malice on the tabloids.

The trouble with the tabloid reporters is that they sometimes manifest the instincs of the gutter.

This case highlights human beings obsession with other people’s sex life, and also the kind of persecution or the very least, harrassment that people can experience.

Even in the workplace, today, people are far too compelled to discuss colleague’s private life/sexual proclivity.

We need to learn to leave other people’s bedroom lives alone and NOT discuss such a private matter.

This all comes down to a serious flaw in society, and our compulsion to invade, denegrate and pontificate to an absurd degree, about other people’s sex lives.

Society and the press need to reform and show a little more respect towards our human right to privacy and to be who we are without persecution or victimisation.

Posted by The Truth Is… | Report as abusive

Kind of gross, but really none of our business. Why can’t we have more quality news instead of this tripe?

Posted by Janine Carter | Report as abusive