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Giggs named in open court as 'affair' injunction footballer

Ryan Giggs has been named by the High Court as the footballer who obtained an injunction banning the media reporting his name in association with a story about an extra-marital affair he is alleged to have had.23 Feb 2012

The Manchester United player had previously been identified as the injunction holder by an anonymous Twitter user last year, creating a storm of interest on the site. Despite this the media remained banned from revealing his name, although the Glasgow-based Sunday Herald published a front-page picture of the Welshman with a black stripe covering his eyes alongside the headline 'Censored'.

At the time the Sunday Herald said the court order did not apply in Scotland and that it had named the footballer because it was "unsustainable" for newspapers to be restricted from revealing information that was already available online.

More media outlets named Giggs in association with the injunction when reporting comments made by Liberal MP John Hemming in the House of Commons when he himself named Giggs as holding the court order.

Hemming had used Parliamentary privilege to name Giggs and claimed it was legitimate to do so after thousands of Twitter users had already posted about the claims on the micro-blogging site.

Giggs had obtained an injunction banning the media naming him as the footballer allegedly involved in an affair with reality TV participant Imogen Thomas. The judge had previously said that Giggs' right to privacy was greater than the media's right to report the story.

However, the ban was lifted after Giggs' lawyer told the High Court on Tuesday that Giggs "consented to the removal of the anonymity," according to a report by the Daily Telegraph.

The right to privacy and freedom of expression are both fundamental human rights guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the UK's Human Rights Act.

Giggs is currently seeking damages from the Sun newspaper in relation to an article it published last April. The newspaper reported that Thomas had had an affair with an unnamed footballer. Giggs is claiming that the "chain of events" that occurred following that publication caused him "distress" and that the paper had been guilty of misusing his private information, according to a report by the Press Gazette.

The Sun told the High Court that Giggs' case is "dead in the water," according to the report.