The Times has made a five-figure libel settlement with the estranged father of comedian Jimmy Carr – at least the fifth such payout made to him by a national paper in recent years.
There were a string of such settlements made to Jim Carr in 2006, following interviews given by his comedian son.
The latest payout follows an interview with Carr junior which appeared in The Times in April this year with Janice Turner.
The original article stated that Carr senior had left the family when Jimmy was a child and attempted a reconciliation after the comedian became famous.
The online version now carries an apology which makes clear that neither statement was true.
Carr senior asked The Times where the defamatory statement came from and was told that it was discovered during online research.
He insists that no such claims have ever been reported online so he remains mystified as to where the information came from.
He says The Times played his lawyer the interview tape to show that the claims were not made by Jimmy Carr himself.
Carr senior told Press Gazette: “I am a Times reader and subscriber and so was shocked and horrified to find that The Times admitted that the untrue statements didn’t come from my son Jimmy after all, so by inference
came from them, but they refused to make that clear in their apology.
“It forces me to consider the possibility that Jimmy never said a bad word about his old dad and maybe it’s been the papers all along. In which case it’s right that the Times had to apologise and pay costs and damages.
“I just wish though that their apology hadn’t been so economical with the truth. And if Jimmy is reading the Press Gazette I would advise him to have The Times apologise to him for the untruths they virtually put in his mouth
save for a couple of inverted commas.’’
A spokeswoman from The Times said: “The wording of the apology was agreed by Mr Carr through his solicitor.”