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Complainant Name:
Granada Media plc on behalf of Miss Cilla Black

Clauses Noted: 3

Publication: Sunday Sport

Complaint:

Granada Media plc complained to the Press Complaints Commission on behalf of Miss Cilla Black that photographs accompanying an article headlined “Surprise Surprise! It’s Cilla topless!” published in the Sunday Sport on 17 June 2001 intruded into her privacy in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Code of Practice.

The complaint was upheld.

The complainant said that the photographs were taken while Miss Black relaxed on the terrace of her home in Spain, which was not a public place and not in any way overlooked by passers by. She was in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy, which indeed was why she was subathing topless. The photographs showed no respect for Miss Black’s private life - she was on holiday alone and not seeking publicity in such circumstances. The complainant pointed out that no other newspaper had sought to publish the pictures, despite their being in wide circulation through an agency.

In an attempt to resolve the matter, the editor forwarded the negatives to the complainant and undertook not to assist in any way in the republication of the pictures by a third party. He also said that he no longer held any copies of the pictures. However, the complainant still wanted the Commission to adjudicate on the matter.

Decision:
Upheld

Adjudication:

The Commission was in no doubt that Miss Black was in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy. She was relaxing at her own property in a place where she could not be observed by members of the public. There was no public interest justification or consent for the publication of the pictures and, while the Commission was satisfied that the editor had rightly moved to resolve the matter at an early stage, it had no hesitation in concluding that both the taking and publication of the photographs were blatant breaches of the Code. There can be no justification for publishing photographs which are taken when people are so clearly in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the absence of any public interest.

Report:
55



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