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Gagging Order By 'Media Personality'

Mail on Sunday Newspaper - May 2014

A female TV celebrity who is accused of sexually harassing a former employee won a reporting restriction to prevent her being named in an employment tribunal because she is a 'media personality'.
A whistleblower contacted us to expose the special privilege being given to a celebrity.
We placed the story in the Mail on Sunday newspaper and have arranged for legal representatives to try to have the gagging order lifted.
Here is the full story:

Fae television celebrity wins bid to keep allegations of sexual bullying secret

 A TV star is trying to keep sensational claims of sexual misconduct made against her by a former employee secret because she is  ‘a well-known media personality’, it can be revealed.

The blonde celebrity, who is a household name, is being accused by the ex-sales director of her  company of sacking him because  he rejected her sexual advances.

The explosive claim is one of several allegations, including that she wore provocative clothing, made inappropriate sexual comments and called the 39-year-old employee’s Muslim fiancee a ‘P***’.

The former senior executive will claim unfair dismissal against the celebrity and her company at an employment tribunal in London this week. But the celebrity’s lawyers have successfully applied for a reporting restriction to be granted, meaning neither she nor the executive can be named.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that the woman’s lawyers argued that, because sexual misconduct allegations were being made, if her identity was made public, regardless of the outcome of the tribunal, her reputation would be irreparably damaged. In addition, it might jeopardise her charity work and her status as a ‘well-known media personality’.

It is understood that the employee, who worked for her for six months, will allege that the celebrity, who is in her 50s, said she ‘only employed good-looking men’ and that she made inappropriate comments about the employee’s looks in front of clients.

The employee was invited on two foreign work trips, which he did not attend, as the celebrity’s ‘personal chaperone’ and he was asked if he wanted to join her on a visit to the Playboy club. 

Furthermore, the celebrity – who lives with her partner – confided in the employee that she was having an affair and once tried to set him up on a date with a celebrity friend of hers. 

It is understood that the respondents deny the allegations and will contest them at the tribunal.

A source told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘She’s doing everything she can to stop this from coming out. It’s just not right. She’s an absolute nightmare and when she eventually realised nothing was ever going to happen, she got rid of him.’

When The Mail on Sunday spoke to the employment tribunal on Friday afternoon they confirmed that a reporting restriction had been granted the previous day. Asked for an explanation, an employee said: ‘Because it involves an allegation of sexual misconduct. When it comes to that we don’t name the parties.’

But the names of claimants and respondents are usually reported in employment tribunals involving sexual discrimination and harassment. The listings for upcoming tribunals are freely available and members of the press and public are allowed to attend.

There is a presumption of open justice unless naming a particular party would put the case at risk. 

The Government has introduced fees for tribunals to weed out claims designed to embarrass former employers. 

Lib Dem MP John Hemming said: ‘These cases worry me. I’m not sure that it’s a reasonable route to take.

‘I’m very uncomfortable with secrecy being used, because secrecy normally acts to conceal the truth over time. I don’t think that in any way the argument that someone is well known justifies keeping their name secret.’

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