Phillips sues Mail for libel over Carman son story

Karen Phillipps, former companion of George Carman QC, is suing Associated Newspapers and journalist Rebecca Hardy for libel damages.

Phillipps, a barrister, complains that a story in the Daily Mail on 8 March was defamatory. Headed “A deathbed will, a secret tape… and the latest twist in the simmering row between George Carman’s mistress and his son”, it was accompanied by pictures of Carman and Phillipps.

She says the story claimed she had manipulated Carman, who was ill, confused and dying, into altering his deathbed will to make her the largest beneficiary, depriving his family of what otherwise would have been theirs, and had falsely claimed to have nursed him selflessly when she was not concerned about his health, but wanted to obtain his money.

The story also meant she refused to hand over to his son personal possessions left to him in his father’s will, according to a High Court writ.

Phillipps said her personal and professional reputations have been damaged by the story, which also caused her upset, embarrassment and annoyance. She also seeks aggravated damages and complains about a story published in the Daily Mail in 2001, in which Carman’s son Dominic branded her a mistress of manipulation.

The Daily Mail accepted allegations about her were untrue, and published an apology and correction, but despite this, the paper repeated his allegations this year, without making any effort to contact her, to report her answer to serious allegations made against her, and without contacting Carman’s executors, she claims.

After she wrote complaining on 20 March, The Mail on Sunday ran a story about her, and the publisher’s group legal adviser sent her an insulting and dismissive letter, she said.

The Mail is not commenting on the writ at this stage.

By Sarah Limbrick

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