By Graham Tibbetts
Last Updated: 3:48PM BST 07/07/2008
Max Mosley (centre) arrives at London's High Court where his case for breach of privacy against the News of the World is being heard
At the start of a landmark action, the court heard that the article involving a sado-masochistic session the 68-year-old enjoyed with five women was "humiliation of the highest order" and had "devastated" his life.
Mr Mosley, the son of 1930s Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, told the High Court that there "was not even a hint" of Nazi behaviour in the session.
"I can think of few things more unerotic than Nazi role play", he told Mr Justice Eady at the start of his ground-breaking breach of privacy action against the News of the World.
"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 be reminded of it.
"I wouldn't consider my parents to be Nazi but there is obviously a link."
Asked if he saw any Nazi aspect to what the newspaper called a "sick Nazi orgy" he said: "Absolutely not."
"There was not even a hint of that - certainly not in my mind and, I'm convinced, not in the minds of any of the other participants. It simply didn't arise."
James Price, acting for Mr Mosley said that the president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) had accepted that he had been interested in corporal punishment and S and M since "quite a young age".
"It's not a surprise to me or to others who don't live in an ivory tower or a monastery or, I am sure, to your lordship, that to learn that quite a lot of people, men and women, have a fascinated interest in this sort of thing."
He said advertisements for such activity were commonplace, and referred to an occasion when he had to tell his wife she was a little naive when she drew his attention to a classified ad involving "seats caning", as they needed some chairs mending.
"Grown ups, men and women, are perfectly used to the fact that human tastes in sexual matters are almost infinitely variable and what other people like to do, if it's not what you like to do yourself, is remarkable.
"To think about what other people, or worse to look at pictures of what other people do, can provoke disgust."
He said that it was an affront to dignity, even to think too closely about what other people did - whether they were young, old, disabled or homosexual - as it was no-one else's business. "The News of the World, we say, is out of touch with the instincts of decent British people in this respect.
"I say with confidence that the great mass of British people, of News of the World readers, are tolerant and broadminded.
"They think what people do in private is their own affair so long as it does not involve corrupting children or the young or exploiting vulnerable people by reason of mental incapacity or economic need... there is nothing of that kind here.
"Most people will disapprove of conduct which is dangerous...there is nothing of that kind here.
"Most people probably think S and M behaviour - spanking, bondage, whipping, role play like doctors and nurses, sheikhs and harems, guards and prisoners - is harmless and private and even funny."
The News of the World coverage showed the naked Mr Mosley being spanked by one of the women with a whip, as well as using a strap to spank a woman.
Mr Price QC, said the story which appeared in March with accompanying photos and film on the newspaper's website, was a "gross and indefensible intrusion" on his private life.
He told Mr Justice Eady in London it was made substantially worse by the "shocking and entirely false" suggestion that the events depicted involved Mr Mosley - the son of the 1930s Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley - playing a concentration camp commandant and a cowering death camp inmate.
"This trial is not a forum to debate the evils or otherwise of Sir Oswald Mosley. The only point is that the sins of the father cannot justly be visited on Mr Mosley, who was born at a time when the British Union of Fascists was simply a memory," said Mr Price.
He suggested that, given the entire absence of any Nazi aspect to the events, it was the Mosley association which drove the story.
"If it had been about Bernie Ecclestone, it would not have been a 'sick Nazi orgy'," said Mr Price.
He described the News of the World as a "peeping Tom".
"To hide a listening device or hidden camera in someone's bedroom in order to spy on them having sex violates a basic human taboo," he said.
Mr Price added: "The claimant's life has been devastated by the reports. The humiliation is of the highest order."
Mr Mosley is claiming breach of privacy and the action includes an unprecedented claim in such a case for exemplary or punitive damages as well as compensatory damages.
The News of the World strongly contests the claim and will argue that publication was justified in the public interest.
The case continues.