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Three weeks after the News of the World first ran the story that has overshadowed Formula One ever since, FIA President Max Mosley has finally spoken out.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph's Andrew Alderson, Mosley, defends his right to privacy, saying that his sex session with five prostitutes was nobody else's business, talks of the support he has received and also reveals that he fully intended to step down from his role as President in 2009 anyway.
In a move which will probably only further rile the likes of Edward Gorman and his Fleet Street (F1) colleagues, for his first real interview since the scandal was unleashed, Mosley chose Andrew Alderson, the Chief Reporter with the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.
Referring to when he first heard that the story had broken, Mosley said: "I became aware that they were going to run the story only when I got a call from Richard Woods, who does all our public relations (for the FIA), and he told me the story was on the pages - in the paper - about 10 o'clock on Sunday morning.
"It's outrageous," Mosley continued, "because the whole thing was predicated around the idea that this was some sort of Nazi orgy. And the Nazi aspect of that is absolutely untrue. In fact, it was a deliberate, cold-blooded, calculated lie, to which there's no basis at all, and witness the fact that when they print the story, they have nothing to back it up.
"So that was really annoying because obviously the main subject was embarrassing to say the least, but to have the Nazi connotation placed on it when it was completely untrue was extremely annoying.
"They gave me no time at all," he continued, "because by the time I knew about it, it was on the streets. Worse than that, I didn't (originally) know this but I found out subsequently, the first edition of the paper didn't carry the story. So not only did they not contact me, they actually went to the trouble of having an edition without the story just to make quite sure that nobody would find out in time to get the injunction, which would undoubtedly have been granted had I known about the story."
Mosley then talks about the actual S&M session, saying that, within reason, what goes on between consenting adults behind closed doors is a matter for them and them alone.
"The problem with sex is that it goes all the way from missionary position with the lights out for the process of procreation, all the way through to the most weird and way out things that go way beyond anything I'd do, and I think that most adults would say that whatever in that spectrum somebody does, provided it doesn't hurt anybody, provided it's consensual, provided it's among adults, and provided it's in private, it concerns nobody but the people doing it. So I don't see it as a moral issue...
"You've got to understand, people have sides of that kind to them. But again, I say that as long as it's adults, consensual, in private... it doesn't hurt anybody."
Hurt no, but he admits his family, and in particular his wife, has been embarrassed.
"I think it's very bad for my family because it's so embarrassing for them. How can I put it - she's (his wife Jean) not best pleased," He admits. While his two son; "have been completely supportive, embarrassed, but completely supportive.
Furthermore; "a surprising number of people in and around motor sport that I consider to be close friends have been amazingly supportive. And really it's quite touching the degree to which people are (supportive). Bernie, certainly he's supportive and he thinks it's disgusting, but he's got to get on and run his business."
Referring to the legal action, whereby he is seeking unlimited damages in the UK, Mosley says: "I think what happens is they (the News of the World) think 'what can we get at him, ah yes, we can say he's this Nazi. Is there any basis for Nazism? Not really, but we can kind of invent something and then focus on the family name.' The whole thing was quite deliberate from that point of view because it adds to the story.
"And of course these people, they don't care what damage they do, they don't care whether they tell the truth or a lie, they are prepared to do anything or say anything to sell a few of their papers and that's what it was.
"The first thing we're doing is suing them for breach of privacy, and for this we have been given an expedited trial, so it means the entire five-day trial (a civil hearing) will come on in July.
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