Friday, May 04, 2012

'If You Don't Like It, Don't Read It'

By Nazia Parveen

A High Court judge yesterday questioned why Chris Huhne’s lover continued to read articles about herself when she found them offensive.

Mr Justice Tugendhat was told that Carina Trimingham, who is suing the Daily Mail for alleged harassment, had set up alerts through the internet site Google where she would be warned every time a Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday article mentioned her. She was said to have found many of them upsetting, taking particular offence at readers’ comments on the Mail website.

But the judge said: ‘Once she knew how things were being reported she continued to read the articles. This is the basic education of children, if you don’t like it dear, don’t go there.’

Miss Trimingham, 44, who was in a civil partnership when she started her affair with former Energy Secretary Mr Huhne, is suing over what she describes as homophobic references to her sexuality in newspaper stories. She accuses Associated Newspapers, parent company of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, of misuse of private information and harassment in 65 articles, including references to her size and hair.

But Daily Mail journalists, columnists and editors have denied that the articles were homophobic and have said the references to Miss Trimingham were descriptive and not designed to be offensive.

The five-day hearing, which finished yesterday, was told that Miss Trimingham didn’t buy the Daily Mail but had a Google alert set up to inform her every time she was mentioned in the newspaper or its website.

Anthony White QC, for Associated Newspapers, said: ‘She went looking for these articles. It is a highly relevant feature of the case that she set up these media alerts. The coverage was not that different to what was in other newspapers, there was just more of it.’

Matthew Ryder QC, for Miss Trimingham, said setting up an alert was the same as asking a friend what had been reported. He said: ‘When you are aware that newspapers are writing about you and that people are reading it, it is reasonable to assume that you would want to know it was going on.’

In a previous hearing Miss Trimingham admitted giving newspapers tips about the sex lives of Hollywood stars. Judgment in the case has been reserved.

No comments: