Standard in legal row over Russian's ancestry

The ancestry of a White Russian countess is at the centre of a legal battle over a story in the Evening Standard.

Anca Vidaeff-Tyoran says she inherited the title of countess from her Russian forbears, and claims a story in the Standard suggested she had made up her title to deceive people into thinking she is a genuine countess.

She is suing publishers Associated Newspapers for libel damages of £100,000 over the story, headed "Bash Street Kids take on the Mayfair Snooties", which ran in the paper in July.

The story also suggested she is suspected of acting in bad faith by portraying herself as a person primarily concerned about the security of the area where she lives, when she is in fact cynically and selfishly trying to increase the value of her home, it is alleged.

Vidaeff-Tyoran says her reputation has been damaged, and that she and her family have suffered distress.

She says that although she wrote seeking steps to restore her good name, the Standard had not apologised. The High Court will hear that an article referring to her as a Russian countess did not acknowledge that the allegation that her title was fabricated was false. She accuses the publishers of disregard for her reputation, and is seeking aggravated damages for libel and an injunction banning repetition of the allegations.

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