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Court to Decide Tomorrow on Publication of Gavin Prins’ Tell-all Joost van der Westhuizen and Amor Vittone Book

Ex-Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen this week went to court to stop the publication of a book by Gavin Prins on his relationship with his estranged wife, Amor Vittone. The North Gauteng High Court has reserved judgement until tomorrow.

JoostJoostPrins’ book, with the working title Joost en Amor: Agter die skerms, was set to be released this month by Zebra Press, an imprint of Random House Struik. It touches on the sex tape scandal that hit the couple in 2009, which led to the collapse of their marriage. In the same year, a biography of Van der Westhuizen, written by David Gemmell and titled Joost: The Man in the Mirror, had been published by Zebra Press. It contained an open letter to South Africa in which Van der Westhuizen asked for forgiveness following the affair, and the book had sold out on the first day of its release.

Since then, Van der Westhuizen has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease and reports have surfaced that he might move back in with Vittone and his children where he will be able to receive better care.

In court, Van der Westhuizen’s lawyer argued that the health of his client will be adversely affected by the stress that a sensationalist book, raking up his past indiscretions, could cause. In defense, Prins said that Joost and Amor have never shied away from airing their private lives in public before. He also says that he could lose about R200 000 in potential royalties if the book is not published.

Former Springbok scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen will have to wait until Friday to find out if a controversial book about his life will be published.

The North Gauteng High Court has reserved judgment on a court bid to halt the book’s release, which details his relationship with estranged wife Amore Vittone.

Springbok rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen is going to court to keep the book Joost & Amor, Behind the Headlines off the shelves, claiming the author is “merely seeking sensation from the circumstances of a dying man”.

On Tuesday, he will turn to the Pretoria High Court to ask for an urgent order stopping publication of the book, written by former entertainment journalist Gavin Prins.

As frail-looking Joost van der Westhuizen was wheeled down Madiba Street to a waiting car, followed by scores of photographers and journalists, parking attendants along the way watched the media hype with interest and asked “who is that man?”

But to thousands of South Africans, this rugby legend remains a hero, as was evident when Joost made his way into the Palace of Justice in Pretoria on Tuesday, where he was due to ask Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann for an urgent order barring the release of a book on his life by former celebrity journalist Gavin Prins.

Ailing former Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen cannot rely on his right to privacy to stop the publication of a book about him, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Frank Snyckers SC, for former celebrity reporter Gavin Prins and publishers Random House Struik, said Van der Westhuizen had actively kept his personal life in the public sphere.

The high court in Pretoria will hear an application on Tuesday by former Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen to prevent the publication of a book about his marriage to TV personality Amor Vittone.

It was reported last week that Ferdi Hartzenberg, Van der Westhuizen’s attorney, said the health of his client, who has advanced motor neuron disease, could be adversely affected by the publication of the book, written by journalist Gavin Prins.

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Image courtesy eNCA


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