Are celebrity private lives no longer fair game?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sports hotshots Ben Stokes and Gareth Thomas criticised newspapers for poking on their privacy

For years, vigorous reporting under the private lives of personalities has driven newspaper marketings. Now the media faces law disadvantages and public analysi for intruding on famous people’s privacy. What changed?

In 1990, the TV sitcom actor Gorden Kaye, a household name for his role in the support ‘Allo ‘Allo !, was in hospital with serious premier hurts after a vehicle crash.

While he was recovering from brain surgery, a journalist from the Sunday Sport penetrated his hospital room, took photos, and interviewed him in his disoriented state.

Later he litigated, but when the client reached the Court of Appeal, it ruled that there was no remedy in English law for a breach of privacy.

“It was a free-for-all for newspapers then, ” says Mark Lewis, collaborator at Patron Law who has represented footballers and other personalities in privacy cases.