C appeared on the Dragons Den television programme and attracted offers of investment from all 5 ‘Dragons’. She accepted offers from 2, including D. C and D’s business relationship broke down.
C gave an interview with the Mail on Sunday about her experiences, including the reasons for the breakdown of her relationship with D. Prior to publication, D was asked to comment and gave a different reason for the breakdown of the relationship.
After publication of the Mail on Sunday article, D published a press release, setting out in more detail his explanation for why he was no longer working with C and her business.
C sued D in respect of his comments to the Mail on Sunday and on his website for libel and malicious falsehood. D issued an application seeking a ruling under CPR PD53 para 4.1 that the words complained of were not capable of bearing the pleaded or any defamatory meaning concerning C and for an order to strike out the claims in malicous falsehood.
Before the hearing to determine D’s application, C, having now instructed counsel, accepted that the original Particulars of Claim were defective and sought permission to amend her Particulars of Claim. D made a number of objections to the application to amend, including that the words were not capable of bearing the meanings pleaded, that the particulars of innuendo, falsity and malice were not properly pleaded, and that the words were not likely to cause pecuniary damage.