Saturday 10 December 2016

One woman's desire for her privacy caught in public glare

A high-profile legal battle means Ruth Hickey has been forced to revisit the headlines surrounding her love life and family, says Maeve Sheehan

Published 01/08/2010 | 05:00

ON THE final day of her legal action with the Sunday World, Ruth Hickey was nowhere to be seen; there was just a half-empty courtroom of observers and media who started the week listening to the story of panto star Twink, her ex-husband and his much younger lover and ended it listening to two gowned barristers ponderously and meticulously summing up their legal arguments.

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Ms Hickey's absence was not unexpected. During her much-publicised legal action against the Sunday World, she had to put her desire for privacy to one side as she answered a series of bruising personal questions about her relationship with David Agnew. Were it not for the fact that Mr Agnew, 54, an oboist with the RTE concert orchestra, is better known as the estranged husband of one of Ireland's most beloved panto stars, Ms Hickey may never have found herself in the High Court in the first place.

Ms Hickey, 36, is suing the newspaper on her own behalf and for her son, for breach of privacy and defamation after it published a photograph of her with her baby and her partner accompanied by an article heralding their "love child" and quoting Twink's allegedly defamatory remarks about the child's mother. The newspaper denies that it breached their privacy or that she was defamed.

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