Skip to main content


Judgment handed down in Tulisa Contostavlos sex tape privacy injunction

On Friday 29 March 2012 Mr Justice Tugendhat set out his reasons for continuing a non-disclosure injunction against (1) Michael Mendahun (2) anyone in possession of any film or video of the Claimant Tulisa Contostavlos engaged in a sexual act or part or stills therefrom and (3) the Claimant's former boyfriend Justin Edwards. Unsurprisingly, there was no objection to the proposed order. Tugendhat J stated:-

"For years before the passing of the Human Rights Act 1998, the court heard applications for injunctions based on the law of confidentiality, as it was then understood, to restrain the publications of details of their sexual lives... Details of a person's sexual life have thus been recognised for very many years as high on the list of matters which may be protected by non-disclosure orders. It has also long been recognised that photographs are more intrusive than a verbal or written description. In the case of intrusive and intimate photographs of the kind in question in this case there is no real prospect of a defence of public domain"

Thus, whereas it might be argued that a non-disclosure injunction should not be granted where information was clearly already in the public domain (e.g. the identity of a celebrity having an affair where it had already been widely reported), this was not necessarily the case for intimate photographs and videos.

There is a back story to Tulisa case, much of which is in issue. The Claimant and Mr Edwards (both well known figures in the music industry) have both expressed their dismay at the tape's publication on the internet and sought to blame each other for its existence. The Claimant claims Mr Edwards was trying to sell the tape, which he denies (Mr Mendahun, who was not represented in court, runs one of several websites which had apparently made the footage available online). The matter has been set down for trial. The issue is not the privacy, but who is responsible for the breach.

A fully copy of the judgment can be found at the below link:-


Legal Disclaimer

Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.