England captain John Terry was named on Friday as the player behind a gagging injunction involving his private life following a High Court hearing in London.
The Chelsea defender had last week succeeded in securing an interim injunction against a newspaper publishing details about his alleged relationship with a "famous" woman.
But on Friday, the judge, Justice Tugendhat, lifted the order, saying the information had become so widely available to so many people "it meant that an injunction was less necessary or proportionate than would otherwise be the case", the Press Association reported.
The order, awarded during a private hearing last Friday, had covered the alleged relationship between LNS – as married Terry was referred to in court – and an unnamed woman which News Group Newspapers had wanted to publish last Sunday.
The judge suggested the claim was "essentially a business matter" for LNS and if he was worried about his sponsorship deals then "damages would be an adequate remedy if LNS succeeds at trial".
The judge also said the newspaper, News of the World, should have been given notice about LNS's intention to seek an injunction. "Freedom to live as one chooses is one of the most valuable freedoms," he said.
"But so is the freedom to criticise – within the limits of the law – the conduct of other members of society as being socially harmful, or wrong."
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