The man doth protest too much! British soccer player Ashley Cole reportedly plans to sue two tabloids for insinuating he’s a homo, even though neither paper explicitly named him.
Cole has decided to sue for harassment, breach of privacy and libel after rumours over his sexuality spread like wildfire on the internet, fuelled by a series of articles in the News of the World and the Sun that did not name him but contained broad hints at his identity.
Legal experts view the case as an important step in taking the temperature of libel and privacy law in cases where the aggrieved parties are not named but the public is able to build up a “jigsaw” identification via tabloid hints that spark gossip via email, blogs and chatrooms.
They said the privacy part of the claim was “unique” because it relied on an untested concept known as “false privacy” – even though Cole says he is not gay, he will argue his privacy has been invaded.
Cole is likely to argue that the suggestion he is gay or bisexual is tantamount to accusing him of hypocrisy and thus damages his reputation.
Hey, does this remind anyone of when an unimplicated Larry Craig said he wasn’t involved in the 80s congressional page scandal? Look how that one turned out…