The ex-wife of Paul Gascoigne today accepted five-figure damages over a suggestion in the News of the World that she falsely claimed the former England footballer forced himself on her sexually.
Sheryl Gascoigne was present at the High Court, in London, for a brief hearing before Justice Tugendhat.
Her solicitor, Roderick Chisholm-Batten, said an NoW article, published on 18 October and headed “You Lying Bitch”, suggested she had lied by falsely claiming that her former husband had forced himself on her sexually and that she suffered repeated acts of violence at his hands.
The article concerned Paul Gascoigne’s reaction to a previous interview given by Sheryl Gascoigne in relation to her book, ‘Stronger: My Life Surviving Gazza’, which was carried in the News of the World the week before.
Chisholm-Batten said: “The article suggested that Ms Gascoigne had lied in both her book and the interview by falsely claiming that Mr Gascoigne had forced himself on her sexually.
“It also suggested that she had lied in both her book and the interview by falsely claiming that she suffered repeated acts of violence at the hands of Mr Gascoigne.”
The defendant, News Group Newspapers, “now accepts that each of these allegations was completely untrue”, he said.
Chisholm-Batten added: “It is here today, by its solicitor, to apologise publicly and unreservedly for the distress and embarrassment that this article has caused Ms Gascoigne.
“As part of the settlement of these proceedings, the News of the World has agreed to pay to her damages and her costs incurred in relation to the publication of the article.”
Patrick Callaghan, solicitor for the defendant, told the judge: “The defendant, through me, apologises to Ms Gascoigne and joins in the making of this statement to assist in setting the record straight.”
Afterwards, Ms Gascoigne said: “I am just glad it is all over and that justice is done.”
The damages figure was not disclosed in court.