July 5th, 2011

QOTD: Rio Ferdinand On Fame & Privacy

Image Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images.

“I do not see why I should not be entitled to a private life just because I am a famous footballer.”

— Rio Ferdinand, who spoke about MGN Ltd.’s ‘gross invasion’ of his privacy in High Court early Tuesday.

To recap, the Manchester United footballer is seeking damages from the Sunday Mirror‘s publishers for their misuse of private information in an April 2010 article that alleged he was having an affair with a childhood friend. Ferdinand today said that the newspaper’s “kiss and tell” exposé was “essentially a very old story” that brought “great distress” to him, his wife and his entire family.

Kickettes, do you care to agree or disagree with Rio’s private life v. professional career argument? Or would you rather just sit back and admire the man’s dark blue-on-light blue court room ensemble?

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23 Responses to “QOTD: Rio Ferdinand On Fame & Privacy”

  1. @RubyDubbin says:

    RIO: If you're that worried about your privacy…STOP SELLING YOUR IMAGE RIGHTS. You can't have it both ways. You want the media attention so you can hawk your products…but you only want it on your terms.

    Also…the media attention is focused on the contradiction between the "wholesome family man" image you want to project (which is more "sale-able") and the reality. If you marketed yourself as a 'bad boy'…nobody would care who you did or didn't sleep with.

    • EternalDreamer says:

      I agree with you. If you are selling your image, which if you play the game you are essentially selling your image at least in part, you have to understand that your image will be considered fair game, more so if you market yourself as a "family man". A certain degree of privacy should be afforded like shielding the kids from the paps, but when the player brings the media into their private lives by touting their family values, they open the door for more scrutiny willingly.

  2. Lisette says:

    I can see both sides of this.

    On the one hand, people do have an entitlement to privacy. The idea that he is a "public person" and forfeited his right to privacy when he did endorsements, tried to get the England captaincy etc. – well, he's not the most sympathetic character, but it's creepily similar to the "she was askin' for it, your honour" argument you sometimes see. Being public does not mean that you lose all rights to a private life.

    On the other hand, what he is doing is just as creepy, if not more so. He's trying to gag someone else's freedom of speech, and to curtail the freedom of the press, because he doesn't like people knowing the truth about him. And yes, this is an attempt to gag – people will be more wary if the possibility exists that they could be sued into oblivion.

    (His argument that it will hurt his family, BTW, is a canny move – John Terry lost his super injunction because he went before a judge who was a Catholic, married father of five and argued it in terms of him losing sponsors if his affairs became public. (JT apparently never mentioned his family.))

    • Lisette says:

      Does no one else find it disturbing that someone can go before the judiciary and try to have people sued for speaking what he himself admits is the truth? It's the superinjunction culture – Daddy Government essentially gets the right to decide what is suitable for people to read. Ferdinand might well lose, but the principle is upheld that a group of judges can decide on these things.

      The desire to see who is sleeping with who or what is fun, if not particularly edifying. But that should not be a reason for someone with deep pockets to try to intimidate people from publishing the truth, just because someone thinks it shouldn't be interesting to people.

  3. Shelley says:

    PS: Remember this is the man who arranged a Christmas orgy with 100's of single young females and his Man Utd team mates. The wives and girlfriend's were banned from the party of course. Does this man deserve sympathy and privacy? Hell no. He's a A* jerk.

  4. Shelley says:

    He should not have privacy as he deliberately put himself forward as the 'moral' alternative to John Terry for the England Captain job. How he can say, "Oh when I meant I was a family man I meant that it means I don't go to nightclubs and play x box" that is a load of balls… he knew exactly what he meant by that, he was pitching himself to the public who were sick of sleasy antics of footballers and to those fans calling for John Terry to leave. He was cynical about it. He deserved to be exposed. I hope the Judge finds in favour of the newspaper. Rio is a hypocrite who was happy to hawk his book as long as it didn't include things which might turn the reader off him. Cynical git. More rubbish about "I like my children that's why they are in the book" – what Rio so you don't like f*cking women then and that is your reason why THAT isn't in your biography which you were happy to hawk? Shockingly DUMB!!!

  5. Red_Girl says:

    Well Ferdinand worked hard at selling himself with his magazine and his new 'serious' profile so he compromised his own privacy, no? At least to an extent.
    On the whole subject, it strikes me as quite funny that those footballers who sell stories about their weddings etc will never get injunctions or have them over-turned [why Rooney never tried for one?] and it's in the interests of those with matters to hide to appear all classy by not selling their private stuff.

    • Lisette says:

      I think Rooney didn't bother trying to get an injunction because he's actually very intelligent – no, really, hear me out.

      No one really remembers the affairs he had. It's not the infidelity that gets to people; it's the cover up.

      The papers report an affair. Eh, stick it out for a few weeks and it's done. Try to get an injunction and you spend huge money on barristers, people find out anyway and the papers rake you over the coals as punishment. Look at Giggs.

      Get hair transplants? Eh, put it on the internet and no one will care. Try to hide it and you're basically the comb over guy.

      Rooney seems to understand, on a visceral level, that it's best to be, if not completely honest, then to avoid actively lying when you're found out.

  6. Sarah, Madrid says:

    As cliche this sounds: " But fame comes on with a price", it is something similiar to singers,actors, politicans..etc, it is never ending debate, shall they be or not! I think they should when it comes to ruining their families and lifes, newspaper should know better.

  7. LilyPadsAwesome says:

    OMFG THIS IS PISSING ME OFF! You guys are rich with extremely hot wives and you still cheat on them with hookers. Fuck man.

  8. crispin says:

    sure try making the same pay as the rest of us and you can have your privacy.

  9. canada says:

    I agree with him and hope the court rules in his favour. His personal life is not for public consumption and he has the right to privacy. Rags like the Mirror should not be allowed to fabricate stories (yes, that is what they do – there is no real journalism going on there) that cause potential damage to one's public image and reputation.

    • french dressing says:

      But he's not arguing that the stories have been fabricated – otherwise he'd be suing for libel – he's arguing that he should be able to f**k women that aren't his wife without her finding out about it. If he cared at all for the feelings of her or their children, he wouldn't be sticking his johnson where it doesn't belong in the first place!

      IMHO, as long as a story is true, the person involved has willingly put themselves in the public domain and the information is obtained through legal means, then a newpaper has every right to publish.

      • canada says:

        Just because a story is true, doesn't mean that it isn't an invasion of privacy to publish it. If he wanted the press there, he would have invited them. You're judging his actions instead of the issue of his right to privacy, which he does have. His private life doesn't belong to the public domain – scintillating as it may be for the gossip mongers – unless he is out committing a criminal act.

        • french dressing says:

          You don't have a right to privacy if you put your private life in the public eye and he wrote a whole flippin' book about it. The Sunday Mirror merely filled in the blanks after payment to his ex-partner – who is well within her rights to sell her story as she signed no confidentiality contract with him.

          • canada says:

            His book was his choice. The Sunday Mirror story was not. I'm not advocating his behaviour but rather the right of everyone (famous or not) to determine whether or not private matters are published about them. Just because his ex-partner didn't sign a confidentiality agreement doesn't amount to consent by him.

  10. Slave4Mou says:

    I agree. On the pitch – great. With kids – creepy.

  11. alynne4307 says:

    I agree that causing stress to a family and breaking into their private matters of the heart, famous or not, is none of our beeswax. BUT- based on his trite comments to the court about the situation, he almost comes across sounding more like he is just upset he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I suppose that I figure that you shouldn't be cheating in the first place, and if you're famous, you're really just asking to be found out. Condolences to his family, though.

  12. kel says:

    On the one hand, he should be entitled to privacy. On the other, players think they can get away with it more if they're protected from people finding out about it. Also, I feel that if you do something like have an affair then you're pretty much fair game in terms of people talking about it. The easy way to get rid of the problem is to not cheat.

  13. Camille says:

    He's right. Just because he's a famous athlete doesn't mean the public has any right to knowledge about his personal life, and there's no public good being served by spreading gossip about it. Anyone who says "but he's a role model to children" or "he's an England international" is coming up with a rationalization to justify their fondness for sensational gossip or their finger-wagging moralizing.

  14. Shaz says:

    Let's face it – all the United players are cheats!

    • Mary says:

      actually, let's face it, all MEN are cheats. this is just too depressing. it's not just in the papers, you hear it everywhere, from friends, acquaintances…. not that women don't cheat, but men take the biscuit. and if they don't cheat, they're doing porn all day and dreaming about it. no wonder no one has sex anymore. it's enough to make me want to become a lesbian. or forget about sex altogether. or start acting like they do and hook up with cute 18 year old prostitutes. trust me, the men will NOT like that.

  15. Gillian says:

    Hmmm….I didn't know about any of this, so I guess I don't care-lol