Ozzy Osbourne wins damages from Star over health scare story

Singer Ozzy Osbourne today accepted a public apology and ‘substantial’but undisclosed libel damages at London’s High Court to end a libel action launched by him over a slur on his role in the Brit awards this February.

Osbourne launched the action over a Daily Star report headed ‘Ozzy’s Freak Show’which appeared after the event.

John Kelly, Osbourne’s solicitor told Mr Justice David Eady that Osbourne, his wife Sharon and two of his children, Jack and Kelly, hosted the Brit Awards which was broadcast live and attracted 6.1 million viewers.

However, Kelly said that the Daily Star story claimed that Osbourne had thrown the awards ceremony into chaos after suffering a health scare.

He continued : ‘The article reported that the claimant had toppled over twice just before the awards ceremony was about to begin, prompting organisers of the event to hold emergency talks about whether they should withdraw the claimant from presenting the awards with his family and send him to hospital.”

He added that the article had also claimed that as a result of the alleged health scare Osbourne had to be ferried round the awards in an electric buggy.

Kelly told the judge : ‘The claimant is a highly successful touring artist who has just completed a sell out world tour and the publication of false allegations that the claimant was in such a poor state of health that he was incapable of hosting an awards ceremony, that the organisers had to consider withdrawing him from the event and put in place special measures to compensate for his ill health are extremely serious.”

He said the allegations had not been put to Osbourne or his representatives prior to publication and if they had the paper would have been informed that they were ‘utterly false.”

‘The defendant now accepts that the allegations complained of are defamatory, completely untrue and out never to have been published,’said Kelly.

‘The defendant accepts that the claimant was fit and well at the Brit Awards, did not in fact suffer a health scare and that there was no question of the claimant having to go to hospital or being unfit to fulfil the engagement.

He said that the damages that Osbourne was to receive would be donated to his wife’s charity, the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program.

On behalf of the Daily Star, counsel, Kate Wilson, told the judge that the paper accepted everything Kelly had said and sincerely apologised for the distress and embarrassment caused by the article. She said they accepted that the allegations were untrue and should never have been published.

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