A High Court judge has explained and kept in place an injunction banning journalists from naming the footballer who was in a relationship with former Miss Wales and Big Brother star Imogen Thomas.
Mr Justice Eady issued a written account of his reasons for making the order after listening to arguments from lawyers representing the footballer, Ms Thomas, and The Sun newspaper at a private hearing in London.
Ms Thomas, 28, was at the High Court hearing in London and afterwards complained about being unfairly “gagged”.
She previously claimed that she had been “thrown to the lions” as, unlike the footballer, she did not have the money to pay for her name to be kept private.
The judge said it now seemed that the footballer “may well have been set up” so that photographs could be taken of Ms Thomas going to hotels.
He said the footballer had started to “smell a rat”.
“The evidence before the court at that point, therefore, appeared to strongly suggest that the (footballer) was being blackmailed (although that is not how he put it himself).
“I hasten to add, as is obvious, that I cannot come to any final conclusion about it at this stage.”
Read the judge’s ruling in full here.
The High Court hearing comes after the recent #superinjunction controversy on Twitter. There are currently superinjunctions in place to protect a number of celebrities, but some lawyers say the gagging orders are being undermined by Facebook and Twitter users speculating about those involved.
Watch the ITV News report here.