World motorsport chief Max Mosley won his privacy case at London’s High Court yesterday against a British newspaper that alleged he took part in a Nazi-themed sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes.
Mosley, president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and son of 1930s British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, was awarded £60,000 (US$120,000) in damages against News Group Newspapers, owners of the News of the World tabloid which published the story.
He said the judgement had “nailed the Nazi lie” with which the top-selling Sunday newspaper had tried to justify its story.
Mosley admitted paying five women for the sex session but denied there was a Nazi theme, saying the orgy in March centred on a prison fantasy.
Judge David Eady agreed that there had been “no evidence” of Nazi-style behavior, adding Mosley’s involvement in the session did not justify such an intrusion.
“There was bondage, beating and domination which seem to be typical of S and M behavior,” the judge said in his ruling. “But there was no public interest or other justification for the clandestine recording, for the publication of the resulting information ... all of this on a massive scale.”
The judge added that Mosley was “hardly exaggerating when he says that his life was ruined” by the story.
The FIA boss’ wife of 48 years, Jean knew nothing of his unusual sexual tastes.
Mosley, who fought off attempts to have him removed as FIA head in the wake of the revelations, showed no emotion as the ruling was handed down.
But he welcomed the verdict in a statement issued afterwards, saying: “This judgment has nailed the Nazi lie upon which the News of the World sought to justify their disgraceful intrusion into my private life.”
During the trial he said that because of his family background he could think of “few things more unerotic than Nazi role-play.”
During the five-hour S and M session in a London apartment, Mosley, 68, was chained up and subjected to a medical examination, including a check for lice.
One of the women caned Mosley 21 times, drawing blood and necessitating a plaster on his bottom.
Later, Mosley punished three of the women — all of whom were dressed in striped uniforms — with a strap while speaking German to another woman who was playing the role of prison guard.
Mosley has admitted paying the women £500 each for the session and renting the flat where it took place, describing the beatings as “a perfectly harmless activity provided it is between consenting adults.”