December 10, 2015
Niall Horan wins round in libel claim
Judge rules words capable of bearing pleaded meaning
Niall Horan of the boyband One Direction sued Express Newspapers over an article in the Daily Star entitled “1D NEW DRUG STORM” which featured a photograph of him with Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson close to what was described as a “Breaking Bad-style drugs pipe”. Horan complained that the article bore the defamatory meaning that he had used hard drugs, namely crystal meth or crack. The Express applied pursuant to CPR 53 PD 4.1(1) for a ruling that the words complained of were not capable of bearing that meaning. The Judge declined to deal with the matter as a preliminary issue and found that the words were capable of bearing the pleaded meaning.
A 5RB case report can be found here.