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FIA Chief Max Mosley Wins Tabloid Lawsuit Over 'Nazi Orgy' Story

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File: Max Mosley (AP)

Motor racing boss Max Mosley won a landmark privacy-invasion lawsuit Thursday against a tabloid newspaper's claims he took part in a "Nazi" orgy.

High Court judge David Eady ruled the News of the World must pay Mosley $120,000 in damages for the story claiming Mosley participated in a sadomasochistic sex romp with a Third Reich theme.

Mosley, 68, admits the encounter with sex workers in a basement apartment in London but says it was private and there were no Nazi overtones.

The payout is a landmark for a British privacy lawsuit, where damages awards are usually modest. But the judge did not award the "punitive and exemplary" damages Mosley had sought to deter other newspapers from running similar stories.

Mosley told the court he had an interest in sadomasochism going back 45 years, but said he found the idea of Nazi sex fantasies abhorrent.

The issue is especially sensitive because he is the son of the late Oswald Mosley, Britain's best-known fascist politician in the 1930s and a friend of Adolf Hitler.

After the News of the World story broke in March, Mosley faced calls to quit as president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, which oversees Formula One racing. Despite the pressure, he won a confidence vote last month allowing him to stay until his fourth term ends in October 2009.