Ian Hislop has revealed that it took several years and tens of thousands of pounds to challenge Andrew Marr’s superinjunction.
The Private Eye editor criticised the BBC presenter for obtaining “kafkaesque” anonymity to suppress reports of his extracurricular affair and even the legal proceedings surrounding it.
Only Marr’s decision to come clean dissolved the so-called rich man’s gagging order, proving that – however controversial – they appear to be practically bombproof.
“The Marr case was the most absurd possible,” Hislop told MediaGuardian. “The story [about allegedly fathering a child during an affair] wasn’t even true. It headed into Kafkaesque territory. Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent [challenging] this order. We went to his lawyers and said we were going to court and after a lot of bargaining … he said we could vary it again.
“How are we meant to know about these superinjunctions if we don’t even get sent them? It’s bonkers. Our problem [in challenging them] is that we need to concentrate the few resources we have on the cases we think might be important.”
Around 30 superinjunctions denying media coverage of high-profile scandals have been imposed by judges.