Reporting Restrictions – Ant McPartlin named in divorce cash fight

Ant McPartlin of TV duo Ant and Dec can be named in reports of a High Court divorce case brought by his wife Lisa Armstrong, a judge has ruled.

The couple were granted a decree nisi last month. The latest proceedings will determine the nature of the financial settlement which follows their divorce.

Financial hearings in divorce cases usually take place in private, and while reporters are allowed access to listen to the case, there are usually restrictions on what can then be reported to the public.

In these proceedings the judge has ruled that the couple can be identified but he has limited the level of detail which can be reported and prevented the publication of confidential financial information and Ant McPartlin’s address.

The judge said he had balanced free speech against the couple’s right to a private and family life before reaching his decision.

Lisa Armstrong was at the hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on 5 November, but Ant McPartlin did not attend which resulted in the judge telling journalists that they could report that McPartlin was “told off”.

He said: “There isn’t one law for the famous and one for the rest of the community.”

Although rulings on reporting in high profile divorce cases are case specific reporting is often restricted. However the judiciary operating in these courts are fairly divided about whether, as a general principle, marriage breakdown should be dealt with in private or reported on publicly.

There are numerous rules on reporting proceedings in the UK’s courts. For advice contact Abbas Media Law.