Giggs scored an own goal with injunction -- PR guru
Published 25/05/2011 | 05:00
Ryan Giggs might have kept his alleged relationship with reality TV star Imogen Thomas private if he had not taken out an injunction to protect his privacy, the model's publicist has said.
PR guru Max Clifford said that, ironically, if the footballer had not taken out the injunction, then probably no one would have known about the relationship.
He said Thomas had never intended to sell her story.
The law on injunctions has been thrown into further turmoil after Giggs was named as the married star at the centre of a controversial privacy case.
Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name him as the Premier League player who took out an injunction over his relationship with Thomas.
Mr Clifford, who was due to meet Ms Thomas at his London office yesterday to discuss her next step, told ITV's 'Daybreak' programme: "I will see what she wants to do but, because of the previous conversations, I know that she never had any intention of selling her story.
"She came to me because she wanted to make sure the story didn't come out, and I told her: 'Phone Ryan Giggs and warn him that the 'Sun' are looking into this, and knocking on your door, because if you don't talk, and Ryan Giggs doesn't talk, no one will know.'
"And that's the irony of it -- if Ryan Giggs hadn't taken out a super-injunction, probably we wouldn't know what had been going on.
"It's only because of that, and of course the fact that, in that super-injunction that he got to protect his privacy and that of his family, he named Imogen, that the whole thing started down that trail that led to it coming out in parliament.
"If he hadn't taken out a super-injunction, no one would probably have known about this relationship."
Mr Clifford said it was "easy" for him to phone a lawyer to take out injunctions to stop newspaper stories coming out about his clients.
"It doesn't make it right, though, because it's only for rich people."
Asked if the other 80 people with injunctions should be worried, he said: "I think all the ones I'm aware of -- and that's probably most of them -- are worried, because people around them know, so with what's going on, there's a chance that it will come out.
"But hopefully the days of the super-injunction are numbered, because it's only a law that protects the rich."
Meanwhile, a gang of masked men vandalised reporters' cars outside Giggs's home yesterday as United manager Alex Ferguson slapped his own gagging order on a sports reporter who dared to ask a question about the Welsh footballer.
Greater Manchester Police last night confirmed that officers had to be called to Giggs' home after a group attacked six cars belonging to press.
And Ferguson was caught on a microphone ordering his press officer to ban a reporter who asked a question about Giggs during a press conference yesterday.
In a video released by Sky News, Mr Ferguson could be heard ordering his press officer to exclude Associated Press reporter Rob Harris from a news conference on Friday.