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Couple at heart of celebrity threesome injunction to remain unnamed as court upholds ruling

The UK court has officially ruled in favour of an injunction barring the publication of the identities of individuals involved in an alleged celebrity threesome following a lengthy legal battle.

Judges at the Supreme Court in London were expected to lift the gagging order around the celebrity, known in court as PJS, but today Lord Mance said publication of the story would "infringe the privacy rights of the claimant - referred to as PJS - his partner, and their children".

The Court of Appeal previously ruled that the injunction ought to be lifted last month but that decision was placed on hold when lawyers acting on behalf of ‘PJS’ and his partner, YMA, escalated their fight to the highest court in the land.

In the judgement, Lord Mance said the Court of Appeal "went wrong" in balancing the rights of freedom of expression against the rights of privacy, when it ruled in favour of News Group Newspapers, publishers of the Sun on Sunday to discharge the injunction.

Both parties have previously been identified by media in America online and on social media and was even outed by a Scottish paper – all of which fall out with the jurisdiction of the judicial system in England & Wales.

These gaping loopholes have caused many commentators to question the appropriateness of such injunctions in a globalised, media rich world.

News of the escapade first came to light when an individual referred to as AB went to the press to claim that he had ‘occasional sexual encounters’ with both PJS and his own partner, CD.

Today the man has successfully appealed against a court ruling lifting the ban on media in England and Wales publishing his name.

Lord Mance added: "Second, there is no public interest (however much it may be of interest to some members of the public) in publishing kiss and tell stories or criticisms of private sexual conduct, simply because the persons involved are well known; and so there is no right to invade privacy by publishing them."

Nathan Capone, lawyer at European law firm Fieldfisher who specialises in reputation management and media law issues, said: "The judgment is a robust affirmation of the importance of applying the law. Responding to press criticism of the injunction, the Supreme Court said that even if it can be said that the law is an ass, if that is the price of applying the law, it is one which must be paid.

"The Supreme Court has acknowledged that the world of social media and the internet is effectively uncontrollable and the courts need to be ready to change their approach as a consequence. However, in this case the legal position as to PJS's privacy rights was clear and electronic developments as they stand today should not affect that position."

Additional reporting by Jessica Goodfellow

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