GOSSIPING about a neighbour’s sex life has proved to be costly for a woman from the Spanish city of Salamanca, after it landed her with a €10,000 fine for besmirching her honour. 

The case was first tried by the Provincial Court in the city in Castilla y León, and the ruling has just been upheld by the Supreme Court. 

The facts date back to 2017, when the defendant appeared in a television report complaining about how she couldn’t sleep due to the noise made by her neighbour when having sexual relations.

The woman, identified by her initials L. M. I. in a report in Spanish newspaper El Español, referred to the ‘ardour’ of her fellow resident. She also explained how the woman had been reported to the authorities and fined for excess decibels and ‘noises from her bed’. 

L. M. I. added that the neighbour had even caused cracks in her ceiling and that her radiator vibrated due to the young woman’s activities. 

Asked if she might be a prostitute, the defendant said that she did not know but that she had ‘seen a number of different people’ go up to the apartment. 

The comments were broadcast on a TV show called La Mañana on state broadcaster RTVE, prompting the neighbour, identified as J. V. G., to file a lawsuit both against the defendant and the TV channel itself. 

A lower court first threw out the case on the basis that J. V. G. had not been identified in the broadcast, and that L. M. I. was protected by freedom of expression. 

But an appeal at the Provincial Court was upheld, slapping L. M. I. with a €10,000 fine. The Supreme Court has now also upheld the sentence, meaning the compensation will have to be paid.

The ruling stated that while it was legitimate for L. M. I. to report the bothersome noises coming from the neighbour’s flat, ‘it is not justified and it is disproportionate for her to reveal on a television program that the annoying acoustics could be coming from the intense sexual activity of the neighbour […].’

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