Friday 9 December 2016

Paper portrayed mother as a 'whore', court told

Tim Healy

Published 28/07/2010 | 05:00

THE partner of pantomime star Twink's ex-husband has told the High Court that newspaper articles about her family portrayed her as a whore and her son as a bastard.

  • Go To

Ruth Hickey (36) said although the word "whore" was reported to have been used by Adele King (Twink), she believed the paper was portraying her as a prostitute. The use of a headline "Twink's Ex Shows Off Love Child" meant her child was a bastard, she said.

Ms Hickey was giving evidence in her action against the 'Sunday World' over photos and other material published after she, her son and her partner David Agnew were photographed leaving the Births, Marriages and Deaths office in Dublin on May 10, 2006.

She claims her Constitutional and European Convention rights to privacy, and that of her son, had been breached and says she was defamed by the use of the word whore. The newspaper denies the claims.

She told the court yesterday the first of two articles and photographs, published in May 2006, was "cheap and nasty and highly offensive".

It portrayed her as a whore, which she was not, and she said her child was "planned" and there was no sordid act".

Vile

When the second article was published, in August 2006, she said she could not have contemplated that the paper could have taken it so far, particularly as her solicitors had written twice to the paper. She said it printed "vile references" about her giving birth to her son.

The court heard yesterday Mr Agnew left Ms King in 2004, after 21 years of marriage, and three months later moved in with Ms Hickey of Archer's Wood, Castaheany, Dublin 15.

Under cross-examination from Eoin McCullough, for the 'Sunday World', she said after seven months of media attention and photographers following her, she took the advice of friend and 'Social and Personal' editor PJ Gibbons and wrote an article for the magazine and posed for some photographs with Mr Agnew in August 2005.

Ms Hickey, who works in public relations, said it was done to try to get the photographers to stop coming after her and so that there would be "no scoop".

Ms Hickey said she accepted that, legally, the area outside a registry office was a public place but she did not see why the photographs would be of interest to anybody else.

She agreed with Mr McCullough that she made a formal complaint to gardai of harassment by Ms King and made a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Ms Hickey agreed that Ms King was reported by the 'Sunday World' as describing her (Ms Hickey) as a "hoor" and saying she "didn't give a shite" that Mr Agnew had had another "love child" by a woman now living in France.

Ms Hickey said she "presumed" Ms King was extremely upset when she found out her husband was having an affair. When Mr McCullough put it to her that they were conducting an affair, Ms Hickey replied: "Yes."

She also said a voicemail recording of Ms King letting out a "tirade of abuse" against Mr Agnew, which was printed in the 'Sunday World', did not come from her, but she wanted to know how the newspaper got it. The case continues.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News