The Daily Mail has paid comedian Matt Lucas ‘substantial damages’and issued an apology.
Lucas lodged a High Court writ for breach of privacy in August over a story headlined: ‘How Matt Lucas learnt to laugh again’which was published in the wake of the death of his former civil partner Kevin McGee who killed himself in October.
According to the writ, close friends and relatives quoted in the story did not make the statements attributed to them.
A press statement issued by lawyers Schillings yesterday stated: ‘The article was particularly damaging as a result of the fact that it contained a number of untrue allegations, including the complete fabrications that Mr Lucas had ignored Mr McGee’s calls, had become a virtual recluse and was hosting a large birthday party to ‘move on’.”
Lucas said in a statement: ‘This has been and continues to be a very difficult time for me and all those who loved Kevin. My deep pain and sorrow have been made even greater by the intrusive and defamatory stories made about my private life in The Daily Mail.
” I had no choice but to bring these proceedings to protect my private life and my right to grieve in peace. I’d like to add that I take no pleasure or sense of triumph in this settlement. I am just relieved that this case has been resolved and I sincerely hope this sort of intrusive reporting will now end.’
In an apology published yesterday the Mail said: ‘An article (March 1) ‘How Matt Lucas learned to laugh again’ caused great upset to Mr Lucas which we did not intend and regret.
“The article on Mr Lucas’ return to public life following the tragic death of Kevin McGee suggested he had ignored Kevin’s calls, became a virtual recluse, and hosted a birthday party to ‘move on’. We accept this was not the case and apologise to Mr Lucas.”