Russell Brand wins libel payout from The Sun on Sunday and pledges Hillsborough campaign donation

Russell Brand has won libel damages from The Sun and pledged to donate to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Press Gazette revealed in January that the comedian had launched legal action after The Sun on Sunday carried a front page story saying Brand had cheated on girlfriend Jemima Khan with a glamour model.

The Sun said at the time that it was defending the libel action but has now settled with Brand out of court.

On 15 April, the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough, he tweeted:

I got some money suing The S*n who lied about me. I am making a donation to the #JFT96 campaign. A tiny piece of justice.

— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) April 15, 2014

According to the Liverpool Echo he emailed Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, on the same day to tell her he wanted to donate.

The paper reports that he told Coleman The Sun on Sunday were to pay him damages after it “lied about me and my bird”. She said the exact amount he was donating was not yet clear.

The Sun on Sunday’s article, for which Brand was seeking unspecified damages, was published on 17 November last year.

Soon afterwards, Brand wrote a Guardian piece about the “pain, disruption and distress that the Sun inflicted” on him and his girlfriend.

He added: “Some friends of mine thought it dubious that the Sun's deceitful story appeared just days after I'd spoken out against the media, corporations and the government.

“It could be a coincidence. Or it could be that the Sun loves me when I'm a prattling, giggling, Essex boy 'Shagger of the Year', when I'm in my proper place, beneath vacuous headlines, herding their flock towards dumb lingo and crap bingo, when I'm being cheeky on MTV or even unwisely invading answerphones, in a way that many would argue, is less offensive than the manner that they are alleged to have done.

“In my place I'm fine, but if I use my glistening podium, to talk to the people I grew up with, or signed on with or used drugs with, vulnerable overlooked, underserved, ordinary people, people that can't sue them as I am, then out come the fangs.”

Suggesting newspapers such as The Sun and Daily Mail cannot be trusted, he said it was a big “lie” to suggest that celebrities are the only victims, highlighting The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

He wrote: “We all remember the worst lies, the ones where the red tops are caught red-handed, like Hillsborough, where the Sun enthusiastically heaped more pain on the grieving people of Liverpool by claiming that innocent fans had pissed on police and rifled through the possessions of their dead fellows under the front-page headline ‘The Truth’. “

He donated his fee for the article to the Justice for the 96 campaign.

The Sun declined to comment.

 

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A dozen of the UK's leading legal minds will explain what the Defamation Act 2013 means for journalists and the media at a unique conference being organised by Press Gazette in London on 19 June. The cost of defending a libel action at trial can be more than £1m, tickets for Defamation 2014 start from £89+VAT

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