|Rio Ferdinand MU the best Defender|
LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand on Thursday lost a High Court privacy action over a "kiss and tell" newspaper story.
Ferdinand, 32, brought a case for misuse of private information against MGN Ltd over a Sunday Mirror article in which interior designer Carly Storey gave her account of their 13-year relationship in return for 16,000 pounds.
The judge Justice Nicol had been asked to award the England player a maximum of 50,000 pounds damages and a worldwide gagging injunction.
But the Press Association reported him as saying on Friday: "Overall, in my judgement, the balancing exercise favours the defendant's right of freedom of expression over the claimant's right of privacy."
Ferdinand has branded the April 2010 piece - "My affair with England captain Rio" - a "gross invasion of my privacy," and insisted he had not seen Storey for six years by the time it appeared.
The article claimed that Ferdinand, who has three children with wife Rebecca, ended the relationship within days of being made England captain in February 2010.
MGN said it was in the public interest to run the story about the centre-back, who replaced John Terry as England captain before Terry was reinstated by manager Fabio Capello this year.
Its lawyer Gavin Millar said at a hearing in London in July that Ferdinand was appointed England captain on the basis of being reformed and responsible.
In fact, as the article said, this was not the case, he added.
He argued that the case was not really about Ferdinand's privacy but about the effect on the public image he had so painstakingly constructed, and was without merit.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison)