Naomi Campbell wins elephant cruelty libel claim

Daily Telegraph pays damages, costs and joins in Statement in Open Court

Naomi Campbell has settled her libel claim against the publishers of the Daily Telegraph with a joint Statement in Open Court read today before Mr Justice Eady and the payment of substantial damages and costs.

Ms Campbell sued over an article published on 3 November 2012 which claimed that she was organising an elephant polo tournament for her partner’s 50th birthday celebrations in India. It went on to report detailed criticisms of these plans by animal rights campaigners.

The newspaper accepted that the story was in fact false and that any suggestion that Ms Campbell was promoting animal cruelty or was indifferent to the violent abuse or other suffering caused to elephants used for polo was unfounded. The Court was told that the Telegraph’s journalists had not contacted Ms Campbell in advance of publishing the story and that, because the article had not been promptly removed from the newspaper’s website, the story had been re-published widely in the Indian press and elsewhere, causing a storm of adverse publicity.

5RB’s Justin Rushbrooke and Yuli Takatsuki acted for Ms Campbell, instructed by Gideon Benaim and Tom Iverson of Michael Simkins LLP.

A copy of the Statement in Open Court may be found here.