Michelle Keegan offer of amends
Coronation Street actress, Michelle Keegan,has accepted an offer of amends. The actress brought a libel action against the Daily Mirror after they claimed she had “tweeted” endorsements for goods in return for receiving luxury items.
Channel 4 programme “Dispatches” carried out a “sting” operation, their story featured the actress. The Daily Mirror followed up on the programme with a story which headlined “Corrie star caught in TV sting” in their newspaper of the 8th July 2013.
In documentation submitted to the Court, the actress is described as “one of the most well-known actresses” on Coronation Street and has a twitter following of over 1.5 million.
The Channel 4 programme claimed that celebrities tweeted endorsements for goods and agreed to be seen with them whilst being photographed “in exchange for free designer goods, cosmetic dental treatments and beauty products”.
The Daily Mirror accepted the actress was not at the suite where the Channel 4 “sting” was being carried out. Their Lawyers in letters to the actress’s Lawyers alleged that she had, in the past, accepted free products. The actress’s Lawyers did bring up the matter of a product at the event being named as “Puttana Aziendale” which meant in Italian, “Corporate Prostitute”.
The actress’s Lawyers stated that the Daily Mirror story was defamatory and had caused their client “upset and hurt to feelings” and they denied that their client “had offered to enter into a dishonest and underhand celebrity endorsement deal where she would deceive her unsuspecting Twitter followers and member of the public by tweeting apparently genuine endorsements for a firm’s products, or being photographed carrying those products, without ever disclosing that she had agreed to carry out those actions in return for handfuls of apparently expensive goods” and “Offered to make such deceptive tweets despite this being in breach of advertising codes and fair trading laws”.
The actress’s Lawyers stated that the Daily Mirror had in such a manner alluded to her as acting in an “appalling, sleazy, diva-style behaviour” and further that she “ought to be ashamed” with her also being compared to a “corporate prostitute”.
The court documentation claimed that “the Claimant has suffered damage to her personal and professional reputation, and has been caused upset, embarrassment and hurt to feelings”. The documentation continued by saying “The failure of the defendant to contact the claimant in respect of the defamatory allegations prior to publication. The following of this basic tenet of responsible journalism would have allowed the claimant to inform the defendant that she did not even attend the event described and that the allegations about her were entirely untrue”.
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said that the actress “had accepted an offer of amends”. It is not known whether damages have yet been agreed or whether the matter has now been concluded.