Richard Desmond in legal battle with Wikipedia over term ‘pornographer’

1 year ago 116

Richard Desmond, the billionaire erstwhile proprietor of big tv channels and top-shelf magazines, has spent years having his Wikipedia edited successful a failed effort to region immoderate proposition helium is simply a “pornographer”.

The erstwhile proprietor of the Daily Express and Channel 5, and 1 of Britain’s richest men, appears to person go fixated with his biography connected the open-source encyclopedia. To this end, an relationship operating connected behalf of Desmond has repeatedly edited the nonfiction to regenerate the statement of him arsenic a “pornographer” with the word “philanthropist”.

According to ineligible documents seen by the Guardian, Desmond says helium cannot factually beryllium described arsenic a pornographer due to the fact that that word applies lone to individuals who people amerciable and obscene material. Desmond says the top-shelf magazines and tv channels helium owned for decades were alternatively successful the morganatic “adult material” class distributed successful high-street shops and connected Sky.

The erstwhile proprietor of the magazines Asian Babes and Readers’ Wives, who owned big outlets from the 1980s until 2016, has present hired lawyers to request Wikipedia permanently deletes immoderate mentions of the connection “pornographer” from his biography.

Lawyers acting for the businessman this week asked Wikipedia administrators to analyse edits to the page, actively show it successful lawsuit the connection is reinstated, and support “genuine, factually correct, edits by Mr Desmond” connected the page.

“The usage of the word ‘pornographer’ erstwhile applied to our lawsuit is astatine slightest factually wrong, gratuitous and insulting, and astatine astir commercially damaging,” they wrote.

His lawyers assertion that Wikipedia editors who picture Desmond arsenic a pornographer whitethorn beryllium commercialized motivated arsenic portion of a “strategy by concern competitors to harm his nationalist image”.

“Attempts person been made to rectify the factual errors by Mr Desmond galore times. Despite this, each time, editors person reinstated the word ‘pornographer’,” the lawyers wrote.

As portion of Desmond’s ineligible threat, the lawyers confirmed helium has spent 3 years having his ain Wikipedia leafage edited done an relationship with the username NewsEditor1959. Although it is unclear who is operating the account, it has been utilized to region references to Desmond’s enactment successful the big manufacture and adhd important sections astir his donations to charities specified arsenic Moorfields oculus hospital.

NewsEditor1959 besides chopped references to however Desmond’s institution allegedly hid copies of Penthouse mag erstwhile Princess Anne arrived to unfastened the company’s caller office.

A typical for Desmond declined to comment.

Desmond, 69, has mostly exited the media manufacture successful caller years aft offloading Channel 5 to Viacom for a important nett and selling his newspapers to Reach, the steadfast of the Mirror. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, helium is the UK’s 107th-richest man.

However, helium deed the headlines again past twelvemonth amid claims helium had inappropriately lobbied the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, astatine a Tory enactment fundraiser to o.k. a large redevelopment successful Canary Wharf, London. Jenrick aboriginal said helium regretted the episode.