Guardian pays damages to former NoW news editor James Weatherup over Nick Davies book extract claims

A former News of the World journalist who was convicted of phone-hacking has won damages from The Guardian over an extract from Nick Davies's book Hack Attack.

Former news editor James Weatherup has received a four-figure sum from the newspaper and is also pursuing publisher Random House.

Press Gazette understands the offending extract featured in the first edition of the book but was pulled from subsequent versions after it appeared in The Guardian and was complained about by Weatherup.

Davies's book, Hack Attack: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch, documented how he broke news of the phone-hacking scandal. In September, George Clooney announced plans to direct a film based on the work.

Weatherup took issue with allegations in the book that he bullied staff, behaved inappropriately and wore tight-fitting tennis shorts to work.

Weatherup – who was sentenced last year to four months imprisonment, suspended for one year, after pleading guilty to phone-hacking – described some of the claims made against him in Hack Attack as "laughably inaccurate".

Davies has apologised to Weatherup and The Guardian today published a clarification. It said: "A book extract (Screwed, taken from Hack Attack by Nick Davies, 28 July 2014, page 10, G2) included some inaccurate descriptions of a former News of the World news editor, James Weatherup, which are untrue and have been removed and for which we apologise to Mr Weatherup."

Weatherup told Press Gazette: "I'd like to thank my legal team at Peter Carter-Ruck, particularly my lawyer Claire Gill, for her support, unerring advice and for pursuing this action with vigour and tenacity.

"It proves that although I have a criminal record, people like Nick Davies can't go around and write whatever they like about me.

"Some of the tripe he wrote was laughably inaccurate – for instance, turning up for work in tightly-fitting white tennis shorts – utter nonsense.

"Other material, relating to my conduct at work, was more sinister and it needed to be corrected urgently as it was damaging and affecting my future job prospects.

"I'm pleased that The Guardian have now apologised, paid for a four-figure sum in damages, and my reputation has been fully restored."

Davies said in a statement to Press Gazette: “I’m sorry that a couple of lines about James Weatherup have proved to be wrong. They’ve been corrected. The rest of the book is not affected.”

A Guardian News and Media spokesperson said: "Following a legal complaint, we have reached a settlement with James Weatherup. We removed some inaccurate descriptions of Mr Weatherup from the article in question and have published an apology in an online footnote, as well as in our corrections and clarifications column."

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