The singer and X-factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has obtained an interim injunction to restrain the publication of a purported “sex tape”.  It is reported that the singer was approached by an unidentified man last year, who wanted to sell an alleged sex video of her for £500,000. The film went on sale online on Monday from a website charging £3.90 to download it.  

As a result, an application was made to Mr Justice Tugendhat during the afternoon of 19 March 2012.  He granted an injunction prohibiting anyone from” using, publishing, communicating or disclosing all or any part of the film to any other person”.

The Pappzd website which published the video took it down after receiving a “handwritten cease and desist notice”.  Co-owner and editor Nadia Kabahita told BBC Newsbeat that the site, which normally receives 4,000 views, had received 50,000 after publishing the clip.

At the time of the original stories about the video a spokesperson for Tulisa said

“This tape is 100 per cent fake and is just someone trying to cash in on her X Factor role.  She is horrified that someone would go to the extreme lengths of fabricating a video. It is absolutely not her. Tulisa has categorically never allowed anyone to film her having sex.

Yesterday, a spokesperson told the Digital Spy website: “Tulisa has asked us not to comment on speculation about her personal life.”

It appears from these reports that the injunction was to restrain the publication of “false private information”: information which purports to be private information about a particular individual but which is, in fact, false.  It is now well established in English law that a claim for misuse of private information can be brought in relation to information which purports to be private information about the claimant, whether or not the information is true.   The issues concerning “false privacy and defamation” were discussed in a December 2010 Inforrm post – “Defamation and False Privacy“.  A “false privacy” injunction was obtained by Jeremy Clarkson against his former wife Alex Hall although the action was subsequently discontinued and the injunction discharged (see our post here).

It can be expected that, in accordance with the modern practice, Mr Justice Tugendhat will shortly hand down a public judgment explaining the reasons why the injunction was granted.

There are reports about the injunction in the “Daily Mail”, the “Mirror” and the “Daily Telegraph“.