Defamation: Dancing Nancy Dell’Olio loses libel claim.

Dell’Olio v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2011] EWHC 3472 (QB)

The star of Strictly Come Dancing Nancy Dell’Olio has lost her libel claim against the Daily Mail over an article which she said portrayed her as “serial gold digger.”

The heading of the article in April read “The Return of the Man Eater.”

Her Counsel Mr. William Bennett said that:

  • “A man eater is an animal which hunts and kills human prey. In the context of the words complained of, it means a woman who hates men but, rather than kill and eat them, uses them for her own selfish ends.

Counsel for Associated Newspapers, Mr. Mark Warby Q.C. stated that whilst the article might not be wholly flattering it did not convey the defamatory meaning complained of.

Mr. Justice Tugendhat said whilst the article was not flattering and could be said to be insulting that was not the same as being defamatory:

  • “In my judgment the references to lifestyle and money and wealth in the words complained of, insulting though they maybe, do not elevate the matter to a level of seriousness required to overcome the thresh hold of seriousness required of a publication to be capable of being defamatory.”

He struck Miss Dell’ollio’s claim out. The judge also refused her application to appeal.

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