This is a much worse look than a couple of naked footballers:
St Kilda vice president Ross Levin, speaking after the Federal Court extended an injunction preventing the girl from publishing photographs taken from footballer Sam Gilbert’s computer, vowed that she would not get off “scot-free” and that today’s hearing was only the start of the club’s legal response.
“If she thinks that because it is too late and she is going to get off scot-free and she has already put the photos out there, well she is wrong,” said Mr Levin, who is also Gilbert’s solicitor.
“This is only the start of the legal process against her. The next stage is seeking that this injunction becomes permanent and suing her for damages and costs for breach of copyright, breach of confidence and also adding claims of deliberate infliction of mental distress and trespass. The unjustified attack on the players and our club will be met by us in the strongest possible way.”
I suppose they’re banking on being able to run her into the ground with the significant funds at their disposal – certainly they’re not skimping on the high-powered legal representation. Big football club vs 17 year old nobody: what kind of a fair fight is that?
That is unless the courts resist being used by the powerful to bully the powerless, and refuse to make oppressive orders just because expensive QCs have demanded they do so. Let’s hope they remember that just because someone’s unrepresented – or even absent – doesn’t mean they have to give the party present everything it demands. Particularly if it’s massively over-reaching.
Seriously, St Kilda and the AFL are in trouble here because of the allegations that their players abused and took advantage of a teenage girl. Do they really think upping the ante and crushing her as thoroughly as they can will improve their image?
UPDATE: From The Age‘s version of the story:
Mr Houghton proposed to Justice Shane Marshall that the teenager be ordered to destroy any pictures she took from Gilbert’s computer, printed or electronic, and ”without limitation, copies stored on an internet account or website, computer hard drive, memory stick, MP3 device, camera phone or in any electronic repository or format”.
Justice Marshall replied that he found the proposal ”fairly draconian” and did not want to make any orders in the teenager’s absence. He extended the order banning publication of the photographs, with the hearing set to resume this afternoon.
With the greatest respect to my learned colleague, I can’t say I’m all that sorry to hear that his submission was not accepted.