Charlotte Church settles libel claim
We wrote in May as to the libel claim that Charlotte Church had brought against MGN Limited. On that occasion it was to report on an application for a ruling on meaning that the Defendants had made.
The Defendants had applied to have the case struck out as “a marriage proposal to their long-term partner cannot be defamatory and the fact that this is said to have been done in public cannot change that”. That application failed and now the singer has accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over a story that appeared in the Sunday tabloid.
Ms Church’s solicitor, Mike Brookes, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that she brought the claim because the defamatory allegation that she made a drunken spectacle of herself whilst making a marriage proposal hurt her and caused her distress and embarrassment with her friends and family.
The article falsely claimed that Ms Church had publicly proposed to boyfriend Jonathan Powell in a “boozy pub karaoke night” in Cardiff, that they then “celebrated into the early hours” with a bottle of champagne each and that Church had to be “helped” to the taxi by a number of friends. The article also included quotes which were said to be from anonymous friends and comments attributed to Church and Powell.
In fact she and her boyfriend had not even in the pub in question on that night. They had been performing at a gig elsewhere.
The singer was awarded an apology damages and costs although the amount of the damages was not revealed.
Its been a busy year in the courts for Ms Church having also settled her phone hacking claim. That case settled for a global figure of £600,000.