Elton fails in bid to block Mail printing bald pictures

The Daily Mail has published unflattering pictures of pop singer Sir Elton John's apparently bald head scoring a victory in the battle between press freedom and celebrity privacy.

The highly litigious pop star sought an interim injunction on Friday stopping the Daily Mail from publishing pictures taken outside his London home of him wearing a small baseball cap.

Lawyers for John claimed the pictures were an invasion of privacy and aimed to build on legal victories in this field such as Naomi Campbell versus the Daily Mirror in the House of Lords, and Princess Caroline of Monaco in the European Court, both from 2004.

The photograph appeared to show that the famously follicly-challenged singer of Candle in the Wind is completely bald now apart from a pair of whispy sideburns.

In rejecting the application from John's lawyers Mr Justice Eady held that the photograph did not convey any private information.

Eady likened the photo to one of Sir Elton "popping to the shops for some milk" and, with reference to the key judgment by the European Court of Human Rights, Von Hannover v Germany, he found no evidence of harassment.

Daily Mail lawyer Liz Hartley, of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, said: "Mr Justice Eady has rightly sought to put Von Hannover in the context that the ECHR originally intended.

"Photographs of public figures and celebrities which do not disclose information of a kind which traditionally gives rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as issues of health, sexual and other intimate relationships, should not be the subject of applications which are really more to do with whether or not they like the photograph than the protection of privacy rights."

The photographs were published in Saturday's Daily Mail. John won £100,000 in libel damages from the Daily Mail in May over false claims that he told charity ball guests not to speak to him unless first approached.

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