High Court awards £90,000 damages to West End actor and theatre producer, Simon Schofield

The High Court has today awarded £90,000 damages to Simon Schofield, an award-winning theatrical producer, actor, and creative director, well-known for his roles in various West End productions, including The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Les Misérables.

Mr Schofield brought the action in libel, malicious falsehood, and misuse of private information, in relation to an article published by the defendants, the publisher and editor-in-chief of an online news publication, Politicalite.

The Article contained various defamatory and false allegations, including that Mr Schofield was involved in grooming children and/or young people. These allegations were untrue and seriously defamatory.

The defendants initially participated in the proceedings to a very limited extent, by way of sending a few emails, but did not acknowledge service and/or put in a defence, and did not participate thereafter, and accordingly, in November 2023, Nicklin J entered judgment in default, with damages to be assessed.

Damages and other relief were assessed at a remedies hearing held on 23 February 2024 before Mrs Justice Steyn DBE. She reserved judgment, and today made a global award of damages in the sum of £90,000, including damages for the defendants’ aggravating conduct, and also granted an injunction and made an order under section 12 of the Defamation Act 2013. The judge also ordered the defendants to pay Mr Schofield’s costs, summarily assessed in the sum of £35,000.

The full judgment can be found here.

The hearing was reported in the Daily Mail and The Times.

5RB’s Gemma McNeil-Walsh appeared for Simon Schofield, instructed by Brandsmiths.