Britain's High Court refused to stop a tabloid newspaper from posting a video on its website of motor racing chief Max Mosley consorting with prostitutes.
Mosley's lawyers had sought an injunction against the News of the World, which ran a story last month claiming Mosley took part in a five-hour sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes that involved Nazi role-playing.
Mosley, 67, has come under pressure to quit as head of auto racing's world governing body. He admits visiting the prostitutes, but denies there were Nazi overtones to the encounter.
The allegations are particularly sensitive because Mosley is the son of the late Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain's fascist movement before World War II and a friend of Adolf Hitler.
Judge David Eady ruled that the News of the World could post a 90-second clip of the orgy on its website. He said the material had already been published so widely that an injunction would make little difference.
"The dam has effectively burst," the judge said.
"I have, with some reluctance, come to the conclusion that although this material is intrusive and demeaning, and despite the fact that there is no legitimate public interest in its further publication, the granting of an order against this respondent at the present juncture would merely be a futile gesture."
Mosley is suing the News of the World's parent company for breach of privacy. The case is due to be heard later this year.
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