'Substantial' damages paid after 'Facebook party' stories

Eight newspapers and Sky News have paid “substantial damages” and legal costs to a mother they wrongly accused of failing to control her daughter’s 16th birthday party.

Last May, The Sun, The Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Metro, thelondonpaper and Sky News reported on Amanda Hudson’s 16-year-old daughter’s birthday party in Marbella, Spain.

The pieces, according to a statement read in London’s High Court this morning, suggested “Mrs Hudson’s house had been trashed or ‘destroyed’ by drunken and out-of-control teenagers who had gatecrashed the party after it had been advertised on Facebook”.

Hudson’s lawyers, David Price Solicitors, told the High Court that comments left on the newspapers’ websites were also incorrect, including one on the Telegraph’s that wrongly suggested that Hudson had punched her daughter in the face.

“It was also alleged that property had been stolen and that furniture had been smashed and dumped in the swimming pool,” the statement added.

“The overall impression was that Mrs Hudson had failed to exercise proper parental supervision over the party and was therefore partly responsible for what had allegedly ensued.

“The true position is that the house was not trashed, wrecked, or destroyed.

“Only very minor damage was caused to one door and no property was stolen. Similarly, no furniture was smashed or thrown in the swimming pool.

“Mrs Hudson did not permit alcohol to be served and was in attendance throughout the party, as were a number of private security guards that she had employed as a reasonable precaution.”

The court was told that the party was not advertised on Facebook, but the girl had told friends via Bebo.

“Mrs Hudson was extremely shocked and distressed by the coverage and the false picture that had been painted,” today’s statement added.

“She could not believe the party had become the subject of national and international media attention.”

All nine news outlets have published apologies to Hudson.

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