Judge allows Mosley sex video posting; FIA to hold secret ballot

LONDON -- Britain's High Court refused Wednesday to stop a tabloid newspaper from posting a video on its Web site of motor racing chief Max Mosley consorting with prostitutes.

Mosley, 67, has faced pressure to quit as president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile since the News of the World ran a story last month claiming Mosley took part in a five-hour orgy with prostitutes that involved Nazi role-playing.

The federation said Wednesday that Mosley's future would be decided by a confidence vote at an Extraordinary General Assembly of its membership on June 3.

Mosley 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.

Mosley's lawyers had sought an injunction to prevent the News of the World posting covertly filmed footage of the orgy on its Web site.

But judge David Eady ruled the paper could post the 90-second clip.

"The very brief extracts which I was shown seemed to consist mainly of people spanking each other's bottoms," the judge noted.

Eady said that, although the footage was "intrusive and demeaning," it had been published so widely that granting an injunction against it "would merely be a futile gesture."

"The dam has effectively burst," the judge said.

Eady said that from the time the footage was posted on March 30 until it was removed by the newspaper the next day, it had been viewed more than 1.4 million times.

The News of the World immediately restored the video clip to its Web site Wednesday.

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.

Also Wednesday, New Zealand's peak automobile association withdrew an invitation to Mosley to the New Zealand Automobile Association's transport and environment summit in June.