FIA President Max Mosley has admitted that he can 'never replace' the dignity he lost following the News of the World's
salacious front page exposé about his private life just under a year ago, as he threatened to sue the newspaper for libel.
The sport was rocked by the Sunday tabloid's headline 'F1 boss in sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers' last March, with some calling for Mosley to resign from his position – the most powerful in international motor racing. Though he ultimately held onto his job, the 68-year-old has acknowledged that his reputation will never fully recover from the blow.
“I was horrified,” he is quoted as having said by Sky News
, confessing that the article had come 'completely out of the blue'. “It had never happened to me fortunately, but it felt like coming through your front door and everything in the house had been removed by thieves.
“I was shocked, annoyed, angry and outraged. If someone takes away your dignity, you will never replace it. No matter how long I live or where in the world I am, people know about it.”
Mosley added that he had partaken in sado-masochistic parties for 45 years without ever fearing that his actions would come to public recognition in the way that they did, and he revealed that he only knew of the existence of the story when a friend notified him and told him he should go out and buy the 'paper.
“It's not that I am ashamed of it in that I'm not ashamed of my bodily functions,” he underlined, “but I don't want them on the front of a newspaper.
“It's not even talked about outside the circles. You would never tell someone who was not part of that world. Nobody knew – my closest friend didn't know; my wife didn't know.”
The Englishman was awarded a record £60,000 from the News of the World
in a High Court damages suit last year – reputedly costing the publication £1 million – after it was proven that the 'Nazi' claims had been fabricated, and he is currently also embroiled in legal proceedings in France, where the newspaper is similarly published. However, the length of time a libel action would likely take in the UK would preclude Mosley from standing again for the role of President of the FIA when his current fourth term expires in October.
“In the second edition [of the paper publishing the story], when I denied there was a Nazi element, they said I was telling a lie,” the son of former Fascist leader Oswald Mosley is quoted as having said by The Times
, adding that there were 'arguments both ways' regarding pursuing the libel route and that 'what I don't want to do is appear as a bully'.