LONDON (AP) — A British court has barred a newspaper from revealing the name of a leading businessman accused of sexual harassment and racial abuse by employees.
The Daily Telegraph said Wednesday that it had been “gagged,” and predicted the banning order would “renew controversy about the use of injunctions to limit British press freedom.”
The case concerns allegations against an executive, identified in court papers only as ABC.
Earlier this year Britain’s High Court ruled that it was in the public interest for details of the case to be published. But the Court of Appeal overturned that judgment on Tuesday.
The court said the five complainants had signed non-disclosure agreements as part of settlement packages in which they received “substantial payments.” It granted an interim injunction until a new High Court hearing on whether to allow publication of the man’s identity and other details.
The corporate use of NDAs has been under scrutiny since it emerged that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein used them to keep alleged sex abuse victims from speaking out.
Dozens of women have accused him of sexual harassment and assault. He denies all non-consensual sexual contact.
Ian Murray, director of the Society of Editors, said the use of non-disclosure agreements “by the rich and powerful to block publication of any information they do not wish to be aired in public is a dangerous road for a free society to travel.”