Gazza wins apology over Sun's grope claims

Former Newcastle United and England football star Paul Gascoigne has received a public apology over a claim in The Sun that he groped a female shop assistant.

Gascoigne was not at London’s High Court for the settlement of his libel action against the Sun’s publisher’s News Group Newspapers over July 2010.

His counsel, Richard Pitkethly, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that the story – headlined “It’s Paw Gascoigne” – quoted the assistant as claiming Gascoigne had put his hand on her breast.

He said the newspaper acted in good faith in publishing the article, having obtained an on-record interview with the assistant, setting out her version of events.

She subsequently withdrew this version in an article published elsewhere.

“The allegation was published in good faith but it was nevertheless false. Mr Gascoigne did not grope the shop assistant as alleged in the article, or at all, and the defendant now accepts this.”

Pitkethly said that Gascoigne and NGN had now resolved matters between themselves and the article had been removed from the newspaper’s website.

NGN’s solicitor, Ben Beabey, apologised for any distress and embarrassment caused.

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