Tension has been mounting for weeks on end as the British public gets restless. They're waiting for some news outlet to leak the name of the Premier League player who is seeking to squelch the news of his reported affair with a former reality television personality. Now, a Scottish newspaper has made a move that might tip the gossip balance, in defiance of the vaunted super injunction.
The Sunday Herald defied a London-based order to keep the soccer player’s identity a secret, publishing a full-page photograph on its front page, only blocking out his eyes with a thin black bar. Though part of the United Kingdom, Scotland has its own legal system, and the newspaper's understanding of injunctions is that they must be filed separately. A top Scottish libel lawyer, however, believes the paper is still covered by the injunction and could now face charges in a Scottish court.
As the Scottish paper stoked the flames of the story, a High Court judge back in England reportedly sent a journalist to be considered for criminal prosecution following a tweet that breached the privacy injunction of another soccer player. With rumors swirling about both athletes on the micro-blogosphere, approximately 30,000 people could be subject to criminal proceedings if the Attorney General moves forward with the case. Those close to the Attorney General think it unlikely for a criminal case to materialize, leaving the soccer players and their lawyers to defend the gag order in civil courts.