Motor racing boss Max Mosley has confirmed that he loves sadomasochistic role-playing. Mosley, 68, told a London court of the thrill of corporal punishment among consenting people, something he had enjoyed from a 'young age.'
Max Rufus Mosley is president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for Formula One and other international motorsports.
Hidden cameras had recorded Mosley as he met five sex-workers in a London apartment for a five-hour sadomasochistic sex session that involved Nazi role-playing, News of the World, a British tabloid had reported .
Video of the encounter on the newspaper's website was watched more than 1.4 million times before it was removed a day after being posted.
Mosley acknowledged visiting the prostitutes, but said the encounter was private and denied there were Nazi overtones.
After the story broke in March, Mosley faced many calls to quit as president of the FIA. Despite the pressure, he won a confidence vote last month allowing him to continue at the helm until his fourth term ends in October 2009.
Mosley has sued the newspaper for invasion of privacy, claiming the newspaper acted like a 'peeping Tom' by secretly taping the encounter.
Unusually for a privacy case, his lawyers are demanding the newspaper pay large punitive damages to discourage similar stories.
In the court Mosley admitted to taking part in the sex session - but strongly denied claims of a 'sick Nazi orgy' in which he said 'Sieg Heil' and played the role of a concentration camp guard.
He said he could think of 'few things so unerotic' as such sexual imagery.
He was responding to questions from his own counsel, barrister James Price, QC.
Mosley said: 'What it involves is the administration of some level of corporal punishment by one person on another.
'It involves role-play because it addresses and provides a reason for the punishment which is the central activity.
'Obviously people do go into a room and indulge in corporal punishment but it's much more - fun is the wrong word - it's much better if it is accompanied by something that seems to justify what is going on.
'As far as I know, everybody who participates in it enjoys it. The people who are victims want to be victims although some women never take the part of the victim and are purely dominant, some do both and some are purely submissive.
'It's an individual's choice and it's the same for the men.'
Mosley said he had never seen any brutality involved in his sex sessions but there certainly was a lot of humour.
'Quite often what tends to happen after one scene, everybody sits down and discusses it and sometimes it is almost impossible not to laugh.'
In part of the session caught on video by the News of the World, Mosley is involved in a head-shaving role-play as part of a guard and prisoner scenario.
'During the shaving, I was shaking with laughter and trying not to let the ladies realise I was laughing but it was almost impossible not to do so,' he said.
Opening the two-week High Court hearing, Mosley's lawyer James Price accused the newspaper of acting "as Peeping Tom, publishing for the amusement of the millions."
"Every ordinary human being expects the privacy of their sexual life to be respected and would be outraged if it was not," Price said.
He told the court that Mosley had been interested in 'bottom spanking, whipping, fantasies and role-play scenarios since quite a young age'.
Price said the sadomasochistic role play taped by the News Of The World included a naked Mosley being spanked by one of the women with a whip and a woman being spanked by him with a strap.
But the lawyer insisted it was Mosley's right to indulge in what he liked in his private life and expect it to be kept private.
Price said British people, and News Of The World readers, were tolerant and broadminded as long as sexual interests did not corrupt children nor harm or exploit the vulnerable.
He also maintained no Nazi fantasies were involved.
The Nazi allegations are especially sensitive because Mosley is the son of the late Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain's fascist movement before the Second World War and a friend of Adolf Hitler.
"This trial is not a forum to debate the evils or otherwise of Sir Oswald Mosley," Price said. "The sins of the father cannot justly be visited on Mr. Mosley."
Questioned about his family links to fascism, Mosley said: 'All my life I have had hanging over me my antecedents, my parents, and the last thing I want to do in some sexual context is to be reminded of that.
'I have never considered my parents as Nazis but obviously there is a link.'
The allegations in March this year shocked his wife and two sons, he said.
'For myself I'm a fairly robust person. At least I can bring an action and do something. My family can do nothing except suffer the consequences.'
Mark Warby, QC, representing the newspaper, said the article was a legitimate and lawful story.
The hearing continues.
"This case raises fundamental issues about the rapidly advancing law of privacy and the extent to which it allows powerful people to suppress information and stifle free speech," Tom Crone, the paper's legal manager, said Sunday.