The UK Daily Mail has been accused of invading the privacy of a woman named Carina Trimingham, the Guardian reported.
Trimingham is the “partner of cabinet minister Chris Huhne.” The newspaper reported on her “sexual history” in a series of eight stories in 2010. The Telegraph added that the articles followed Huhne’s having “left his wife of 26 years.”
Trimingham and her attorney, William Bennett, argue that she isn’t a public figure and that “she had a reasonable expectation of privacy,” according to the Guardian. Further, they cited the Press Complaints Commission’s code of conduct, which advises journalists to abstain from reporting on sexuality “unless genuinely relevant to the story.”
The Daily Mail, however, claims that Trimingham’s role as Huhne’s “press officer when he was campaigning to be leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2007 and during the 2010 general election” made her at times a public figure, the Guardian explained.
The newspaper also argued that the stories were in the public interest because “He was engaged in a secret doubly adulterous relationship with the claimant.”
According to the Telegraph, Trimingham was described by the Mail as a “comedy lesbian from central casting.” The Mail argued that the articles also showed Huhne acting hypocritically . He “had presented himself as a committed family man, using photographs of his wedding day and children in an election leaflet,” the Mail claimed, according to the Telegraph.
In a separate article, the Guardian reported that Trimingham also is charging the Mail with “harassment” because the stories online “incited abuse” against her.
“The Daily Mail incites its readers to be abusive because of the tone of its articles,” Trimingham’s attorney Bennett is quoted as saying.