Kate Winslet's husband wins UK photo court battle

LONDON Tue Jan 8, 2013 10:48pm IST

British actress Kate Winslet (L) and her husband Rocknroll attend a promotional event for the Hong Kong international races in Hong Kong in this December 9, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/Files

British actress Kate Winslet (L) and her husband Rocknroll attend a promotional event for the Hong Kong international races in Hong Kong in this December 9, 2012 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Tyrone Siu/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - British actress Kate Winslet's husband won a court battle on Tuesday stopping The Sun newspaper printing photographs of him "semi-naked" at a private fancy dress party several years ago.

Lawyers for Ned RocknRoll, 34, who married the "Titanic" star last month, argued that there was no public interest in the Sun publishing the pictures, that it would be a breach of his privacy and it could lead to Winslet's children being bullied.

According to the Press Association, the judge at London's High Court ruled in favour of RocknRoll and ordered The Sun not to publish the pictures pending any trial, adding that he would give the reasons for his decision at a later date.

"We have stopped The Sun from publishing semi-naked photos of Ned taken by a friend at a private 21st birthday party a few years ago," the couple said in a statement.

"The photos are innocent but embarrassing and there is no reason to splash them across a newspaper," they added.

"We recognise that in the internet age privacy is harder and harder to maintain. But we will continue to do what we can, particularly to protect Kate's children from the results of media intrusion.

"We refuse to accept that her career means our family can't live a relatively normal life."

Winslet, nominated for six Academy Awards including the best actress honour she won for "The Reader", has a son and a daughter and has been married twice before.

She wed RocknRoll, who changed his name from Abel Smith, in New York in a small, private ceremony that took even family members by surprise.

RocknRoll is a nephew of airline tycoon Richard Branson and, the court heard, had been head of marketing at his space travel venture Virgin Galactic before he took up sheep farming.

His lawyer David Sherborne said RocknRoll was not a public figure and did no court public attention.

"It is simply because he is married to Miss Winslet," Sherborne told the High Court. "I am sure he would not mind if I described him as a relative nobody up until the point he married Miss Winslet."

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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