Winslet husband 'not public figure'

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Ned RocknRoll married Kate Winslet last year Ned RocknRoll married Kate Winslet last year

Kate Winslet's husband is not a public figure in his own right, a High Court judge has said.

Ned RocknRoll had "briefly become something of public figure" as a result of his relationship with the actress, said Mr Justice Briggs.

But the judge said that was not enough to place Ned - a nephew of tycoon Sir Richard Branson - into the "public sphere".

Mr Justice Briggs' analysis emerged as he revealed his reasons for preventing a tabloid newspaper printing "innocent but embarrassing" photographs taken of Ned at a private fancy dress party with an "outrageous" theme more than two years ago.

The Sun had argued that publication of the "semi-naked photos" would be justified because Ned - who changed his name from Edward Abel Smith - was a public figure.

Mr Justice Briggs ruled against newspaper bosses following a two-day hearing at the High Court in London earlier this month. He revealed his reasons for the decision in a written judgment published today.

"Mr RocknRoll has, inevitably, briefly become something of a public figure as a result of his relationship with, and now marriage to, Miss Winslet," said Mr Justice Briggs.

"To some unavoidable degree this has led to published photographs of them together, but not so as to place Mr RocknRoll in the public sphere in his own right."

The couple - who are both in their 30s - married in New York in December.

After Mr Justice Briggs ruled against Sun publisher News Group Newspapers on January 8, Kate said she aimed to maintain privacy and refused to accept that her family could not lead a "relatively normal life".

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