Ashley Cole in Mirror damages bid over 'affair' stories

Footballer Ashley Cole is suing Mirror Group Newspapers for damages for invasion of privacy over a series of allegations about his sex life.

Cole claims stories in the Daily and Sunday Mirror alleging that he had sex with Aimee Walton, Coralie Robinson and Brooke Healey contained confidential information and breached his privacy.

He is seeking damages of up to £200,000 over the eight stories, which were published in January and February this year.

The move comes just weeks after Cole filed a similar claim against The Sun – also claiming £200,000 for breach of privacy over stories about his alleged affairs.

Cole says that some of the information in the stories was false and invented, but says in this legal action he will not distinguish between true and false information.

Cole, who is married to singer Cheryl Tweedy of Girls Aloud, says that information in the stories about his private life was confidential, and an unjustified infringement of his right to privacy. MGN published the stories to titillate and satisfy curiosity about his private life, he says.

He says that he was embarrassed and gravely distressed when the information was disclosed, and that the stories affected his wife. His solicitors wrote to the newspapers on 1 February this year, saying that the articles contained private information and should have not been published, he says.

Despite this, MGN continued to publish two more stories, in flagrant disregard of his rights, according to a High Court writ. Three women named in stories infringed his rights in a flagrant and self serving manner, the writ claims.

Cole contends that his rights under article right of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life – outweigh the papers’ article 10 rights of freedom of expression, or any human rights which the three women might claim.

Cole complains that the stories were published in the most sensational and eye catching manner, aimed at maximising MGN’s profit and attracting new readers.

MGN knew publication of the stories was a misuse of private information, he says, and his complaints were treated in a high handed and dismissive manner.

Cole says that the original eight stories were followed by various comment pieces in the Mirror, some of which repeated the allegations in the stories, and in other newspapers and magazines.

He is seeking damages, aggravated and exemplary damages, or an account of profits, for breach of confidence and invasion of privacy, or misuse of private information. Cole also seeks an injunction banning repetition of the claims at the centre of his legal action.

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