Last month, BBC presenter and journalist Andrew Marr revealed that he took out a court-ordered super-injunction to suppress reports of an extra-marital affair to protect his family’s privacy.
This gagging order led to cries of hypocrisy from some quarters, with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop having challenged Marr’s injunction, which he took out in 2008, on two occasions. “As a leading BBC interviewer who is asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction while working as an active journalist.”
Marr concurred and came forward, adding that he believed that celebrity injunctions were “running out of control”. Now, a new and anonymous account on Twitter has decided to take matters into its own hands and leak details on a number of these injunctions to all and sundry.
The user, @InjunctionSuper, and posting under the name Billy Jones, blasted out six tweets in a matter of minutes starting at 1.51pm yesterday afternoon. The messages, which bore the hashtag #superinjunction, were retweeted heavily and @InjunctionSuper soon had over 25,000 followers.
The celebrity names that have allegedly taken out super-injunctions – almost all of which were for affairs or sexual deviancy – include footballer Ryan Giggs, comedian David Schneider, chef Gordon Ramsey and actor Hugh Bonneville.
Perhaps most disturbing are allegations of the existence of “intimate photographs” of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and socialite Jemima Khan.
Khan has denied the existence of the injunction, reasoning that “The proof that I haven’t got a super injunction is that the papers have printed my name (and no one else’s – for fear of being sued).”
Khan also reports that both Clarkson and his wife, Frances, who is a friend, have been in touch via text message, denying the affair.
“It’s odd. I’m sure I’d remember if any photos of us existed,” said Clarkson.
Both Khan and Clarkson are trending on Twitter in the UK.
Other celebrities ‘outed’ by the leak have not made comment. David Schneider hasn’t posted on Twitter since April 27, and Hugh Bonneville is either oblivious to the news or simply keeping quiet about it.
Additional celebrity names may also have been involved, with some sources claiming Twitter has removed some of these messages.
The Guardian reports that:
Several Twitter tags led to a sequence of exchanges that delighted in claiming to show that the high court could not silence the more rebellious reaches of social media sites. But later it appeared that the names of the celebrities allegedly involved were removed from one Twitter account.
Twitter denies deleting any tweets.
“There are tweets that we do remove, such as illegal tweets and spam. However, we make efforts to keep these exceptions narrow so they may serve to prove a broader and more important rule – we strive not to remove tweets on the basis of their content.”
It’s unclear at this stage if @InjunctionSuper really is privy to a wealth of celebrity scandal or if this is all just a big wind-up. Suffice to say, it will be very interesting to see if the account provides any more revelations later today.