On 20 October 2014 a Statement in Open Court was read in the High Court in the case of Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini v. National Magazine Company Ltd.
Callum Galbraith, of Russells, on behalf of the Claimant told HHJ Parkes QC that the Claimant had accepted substantial damages for the invasion of his privacy and for breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to a claim brought against the Defendant, the publishers of “Reveal” magazine.
The Court heard that in August 2014, Reveal had published a “deeply intrusive article about the Claimant that was very upsetting for him”. The article was said to have detailed numerous pieces of private information and that, despite purporting to be an investigation, “at its core was a combination of speculation, gossip and private information”
The Defendant accepted that “the only reason for [the article] being published at all was the fame and notoriety of the Claimant’s wife [i.e. X Factor Judge, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini]”, notwithstanding the fact that the article “acknowledged the great lengths the Claimant had gone to in order to keep out of the public spotlight”.
Mr Fernandez-Versini was said to be “a private individual and businessman” who “is not and has no wish to be a public figure [who had] actively sought to avoid publicity for himself and his family, particularly since his marriage”.
“acknowledged its wrongdoing and accepted that the article caused great hurt and distress to the Claimant, that it invaded his privacy and that it should never have been published”.
The Court was told that the National Magazine Company had also undertaken not to republish either the article or any like material concerning the Claimant and his family in the future as well as having agreed to pay the Claimant substantial damages and his legal costs.
The Claimant instructed Steven Tregear assisted by Callum Galbraith at Russells Solicitors. David Sherborne of 5RB was counsel. The Defendant was represented by its in-house solicitor and counsel.