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  1. Media Law
September 3, 2015updated 04 Sep 2015 2:40pm

Kym Marsh boyfriend sues Sun on Sunday for privacy breach over report of ‘solo sex act’ video

By William Turvill

A man romantically linked to actress Kym Marsh is suing The Sun on Sunday for breach of privacy after it reported on his "web sex shame". (Shutterstock picure shows Kym Marsh)

The UK's best selling Sunday newspaper claimed on 4 May last year to have seen a video in which Daniel Hooper performed a "solo sex act" on Skype to an un-named "glamour girl".

The Sun on Sunday reported that the 19 April edition of Britain's Got Talent was playing in the background as Hooper performed the "sex act". This was the same day on which the paper had reported that Hooper was "dating" Marsh.

The newspaper reported Hooper, described as an "aspiring actor and model", as saying the video was taken before his relationship with Marsh began.

The Sun's report stated that the ten-minute video was being offered for sale by its glamour model recipient to a celebrity site which shows such footage.

Hooper has submitted a privacy claim to the High Court for up to £50,000 in damages and an injunction stopping future publication. He also applied for the destruction of the video recording.

The Sun has filed a defence to the claim, which Press Gazette is in the process of obtaining from the High Court.

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Hooper's High Court claim form said: "Even the defendant's journalists have recognised how wrong it is for one party to a sexual encounter to disclose details and recording of such activities without the consent of the other party and the distress this causes victims, launching a campaign in The Sun and The Sun on Sunday newspapers in October 2014 for those guilty of disclosing 'revenge porn' to be jailed."

In the form, Hooper is described as the "managing director of a hydration therapy business" who "has never sought to be regarded as a role model". He also said he had "not sought publicity for his private sexual activities".

Hooper's claim form said: "The information (whether true or false, but presented as true) was self-evidently extremely private and confidential.

"[Hooper] had a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of it and [The Sun on Sunday] was under obligation of confidence to [him] not to disclose it without his consent."

The claim form accused the News UK title of going into "incredibly intrusive detail" about "private sexual activities". It said that the story "in no way related to [his] career, but was instead entirely personal and private in nature".

It said that as a result of the story Hooper has "suffered substantial distress and embarrassment".

The claim said The Sun on Sunday had "displayed a flagrant disregard for [Hooper's] right to respect for his intimate private life" and had reported the story in a "sensational and especially intrusive manner".

The privacy action also highlighted the fact the story was widely followed up by other publications, including Mail Online and the Huffington Post.

It said: "As [The Sun on Sunday] well knew (and stated in the article), [Hooper] is the father of a young girl, for whom the availability to the public of the information in later years will be embarrassing and humiliating, which will cause [him] further distress in future, and the knowledge of which is extemely distressing for [Hooper] now."

And the claim added: "The article contains specific references to the potential availability on the internet of a video recording of [Hooper] engaged in sexual activity, so encouraging further intrusion into [his] intimate private life and violation of his Article 8 rights."

The Sun declined to comment, saying the defence – when obtained – will speak for itself.

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