'Embarrassed' Elton accepts damages from Sunday Times

Pop singer Sir Elton John has accepted undisclosed libel damages from the Sunday Times after it alleged that he had acted "in a self-important, arrogant and rude manner" at his Aids Foundation’s summer ball.

John sued over a 26 June 2005 article headlined "Rock royals get too grand".

The article alleged that he had issued a "bizarre and absurd edict to guests at his annual charity fundraising White Tie and Tiara summer ball not to address him unless spoken to".

The singer’s solicitor, Hannah Basha, said: "The story caused Sir Elton considerable embarrassment and distress, particularly because he feared it would be damaging to his fundraising efforts."

She said that Times Newspapers Ltd now accepted that the allegation was untrue and should not have been made.

It has agreed to publish an apology, and pay damages to Sir Elton, which he will donate to his Aids Foundation. The publishers will also pay his legal costs.

Times Newspaper’s solicitor, Alastair Brett, added: "As soon as the defendant found out the story was untrue — it had been picked up from another newspaper — it immediately apologised to Sir Elton and it is happy to repeat that apology here today."

John has a history of run-ins with the press. In December 1988, The Sun reached an out-of-court settlement with him, believed to be worth £1m, over a series of stories that included false allegations that the singer had been involved with rent boys and had ordered the removal of his guard dogs’

larynxes.

In 1993, he won £300,000 in damages from the Sunday Mirror over false claims that he was suffering from bulimia. This was cut to £75,000 on appeal.

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