Pop star Robbie Williams has accepted an apology and “substantial”
damages, reported to be more than £200,000, over stories in The People
newspaper and Star magazine that accused him of covering up homosexual
encounters with strangers.
The allegations appeared shortly before the publication of Chris Heath’s biography of Williams last summer.
solicitor, Tom Shields, QC, told the High Court on Tuesday that The
People’s article – headlined “Robbie’s secret gay lover” – suggested
that Williams was “about to deceive the public” over his sexuality in
The article alleged that Williams was “pretending” that
his only sexual relationships had been with women when “in reality he
was a homosexual who had engaged in casual and sordid homosexual
encounters with strangers”.
Shields said The People’s publisher,
MGN, and magazine publisher Northern & Shell, now accepted that
none of the allegations were true.
In addition to the apology, to
appear prominently in both publications, the publishers will have to
pay damages and Williams’ legal costs.
■ Elton John is suing the
Daily Mail over a story that made claims about alleged high-handed
behaviour by the singer at his White Tie and Tiara charity ball.
John denies the allegations and is suing for damages and aggravated damages through solicitor Carter Ruck.
to Nigel Tait from Carter Ruck, the aggravated damages are being sought
because the story was still published after the pop star had denied it.
The case has not been taken on a nowin, no-fee basis.
has a history of run-ins with the press. In December 1988, The Sun
reached an out-of-court settlement with him, believed to be worth £1m,
over a series of stories that included false allegations that the
singer had been involved with rent boys and had ordered the removal of
his guard dogs’
In 1993, John won £300,000 in damages from the Sunday Mirror over false claims that he was suffering from bulimia.
This was cut to £75,000 on appeal.