On Tuesday 8 November 2011 a French criminal court fined News Group Newspapers €10,000 for infringing the “intimacy of the private life” of Max Mosley. In its judgment 17th Chamber of the Tribunal Correctionnel de Paris acquitted News Group of defamation. In addition to the fine, News Group was ordered to pay €7,000 damages and €15,000 costs to Mr Mosley. The claim arose out of the “News of the World’s” notorious March 2008 front page article entitled “F1 Boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers”.
The court noted that “the images were recorded in a private place without the consent of Max Mosley” and that the “scenes are particularly intimate and intrusive to privacy”.
The Court dismissed the charges against former Neville Thurlbeck, of libelling Mosley, saying he could not be held personally responsible for distributing the 3,000 copies of the News of the World containing the offending article in France.
Speaking after the ruling, Mr Mosley’s lawyer Philippe Ouakrat said: “It was very important for Mr Mosley to have the paper condemned in a criminal court as proves that the News of the World is a delinquent newspaper.” The fine, he said, was “significant compared to the usual amounts against foreign newspapers in such cases in France”. His interview can be found in English on the “Guardian website“. The interview in French is below