RUTH HICKEY AND JESSE ISAAC AGNEW (A MINOR SUING BY HIS MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND RUTH HICKEY) –v- SUNDAY NEWSPAPERS LIMITED

RUTH HICKEY AND JESSE ISAAC AGNEW (A MINOR SUING BY HIS MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND RUTH HICKEY) –v- SUNDAY NEWSPAPERS LIMITED

This is a case in which the first-named plaintiff seeks damages, including exemplary and punitive damages, against the defendant newspaper both on grounds of alleged breach of rights of privacy enjoyed by her and her son, the second-named plaintiff herein, and also in respect of alleged defamation of her character in articles published by the defendant’s newspaper, The Sunday World, on 14th May, 2006, and 27th August, 2006.

The first-named plaintiff, Ruth Hickey, was born on 19th April, 1974. Following completion of her secondary schooling, she studied music at Trinity College and at the College of Music in Dublin. For a number of years she worked as a classical musician and part-time teacher before switching careers to work as a full-time PR consultant with a training firm called The Communications Clinic.

On 15th February, 2006 she gave birth to a baby boy, Jesse Isaac, fathered by David Agnew, a professional musician, who at the time was married to the well-known entertainer, Adele King, more commonly known as ‘Twink’. The relationship between Mr. Agnew and the first-named plaintiff had commenced sometime prior to Mr. Agnew's departure from the family home he shared with Ms. King in 2004. In 2004 Mr. Agnew moved into the first-named plaintiff’s home in Castleknock. These events attracted widespread publicity in the media and understandably caused great hurt and offence to Ms. King, who spoke publicly on more than one occasion about her sense of outrage, not least, it would appear, because Mr. Agnew had fathered another child by a different woman some years previously. It emerged in evidence that Ms. King's annoyance included harassment of the first-named plaintiff which ultimately led to complaints being made by the plaintiff to the gardaí. On 14th May, 2006, under the byline "exclusive\Twink's Ex Shows Off Love Child" the photograph in question was published with an accompanying article by Eugene Masterson in which he stated that the photograph illustrated "Twink's estranged husband David Agnew and girlfriend Ruth Hickey making their first public appearance with their love child."

The article went on to describe the circumstance in which Mr. Agnew had left his family home after the "Panto Queen" found out about his affair with the first-named plaintiff. It also referred to the fact that he had a daughter from "a previous fling" and the remainder of the article contained remarks allegedly made by Ms. King, including a reference to the first-named plaintiff as a "whore" in a scrapped TV interview with the late Gerry Ryan.

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Reference Info:n/a | Ireland


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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