Let’s face it, celebrity lives are fascinating to many people. People want to know what they’re doing, what they’re wearing, where they’re going and who they’re going with. The attention is not always a bad thing. However, celebrities would like to keep certain aspects of their lives private. Aggressive members of the paparazzi have made it nearly impossible for them to do that. Super injunctions are seen as extreme by many UK citizens and officials. However, celebrities have found them useful when it comes to protecting their private lives.
What is a super injunction?
A super injunction is a court order that forbids the press from reporting all details specified by the person who seeks it out. While it is similar to a gag order, super injunctions are private across the board. The hearing is held in secret and those who are present are barred from speaking about the events that occur during the hearing. Likewise, they are prohibited from speaking on the existence and details of the super injunction.
Once a super injunction is put into place, that person’s personal information can legally be kept private. Any member of the press in that jurisdiction can be held in contempt of court if they release the protected information. The only way that order can be lifted is with the consent of the person who took it out. However, there is a way to manoeuvre around them. If mentioned in the House of Commons by a Member of Parliament, then that information becomes public information. This applies to any information- even information protected under a super injunction.
Many injunctions and gag orders are mistakenly known by the same name. However, those injunctions tend to only place limitations on some of the details.
Celebrities who used super injunctions
Two well-known uses of super injunctions involve Wayne Rooney and another English footballer. In early 2010, rumours began to surface about Rooney’s possible affair with prostitutes Jennifer Thompson and Helen Wood. Although his solicitors initially dismissed the rumours, the league felt the need to file a super injunction to prevent the release of details about the affair. Unfortunately, he was not able to use it to stop the papers from printing the story.
Until March of 2011, another English footballer successfully obtained a super injunction and prevented information about his affair with Imogen Thomas from leaking to the public. Unfortunately, a source living in the US leaked the story and revealed his name. While UK news sources are certain of his identity, they are legally prohibited by the injunction from printing it.
How to get a super injunction
Despite their lack of popularity among British officials, super injunctions do their job when instituted properly. Celebrities must seek out legal advice to learn about their options. Although the courts have been granted the freedom to make the decision, certain criteria must be established in order to grant the injunction. An attorney will be able to file a petition with the courts and have it on record within a few hours. If he or she is able to prove that the information is private and does not serve the public interest, then a super injunction will most likely be granted.