£100,000 damages for Sir Elton John

Singer accepts libel damages from Associated Newspapers

In a statement in open court read today Associated Newspapers apologised to Sir Elton John, having paid him £100,000 in damages.

Sir Elton John today accepted £100,000 libel damages, and payment of his legal costs, from Associated Newspapers, the publishers of the Daily Mail, over false allegations made in articles published on 24 June 2005 to the effect that he had issued a bizarre edict to guests at his White Tie and Tiara annual charity ball telling them not to speak to him unless spoken to first.

The Defendant had quickly retracted the allegation and made an offer of amends. This was rejected by Sir Elton. The Defendant relied on Defamation Act 1996 s.4 as its only defence. Earlier this year the Defendant applied to strike out the claim on the basis that Sir Elton could not show that the Defendant had reason to believe the allegation was untrue, relying on Milne v Express [2005] 1 WLR 772. That application was dismissed by Eady J. The claim was due to come to trial before a jury on 26 June 2006.

Sir Elton will be donating the damages to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

5RB’s Jacob Dean, instructed by Carter-Ruck acted for Sir Elton.