Writs expose relationship between Desmond-owned titles and Katie Price's former agent

A High Court claim form seen by Press Gazette reveals the curious relationship between Katie Price’s former agent Can Associates and the newspaper industry – in particular Northern & Shell.

The Richard Desmond-owned publisher boasts a number of Can Associates clients as columnists – including Price’s ex-husband Peter Andre, who writes for New Magazine.

Former model price is suing Can Associates for the return of private data which she claims it holds about her. She left the agency in 2009 but her former husband Andre continues to be represented by it.

According to the claim form, Can Associates director Claire Powell has “full copy and image control” over Andre’s weekly column.

Since the break-up of their marriage, Price claims Andre’s column has repeatedly referred to her “usually in intrusive and/or critical terms”.

Meanwhile, between 2010 and 2011 Price complained to the Press Complaints Commission about 17 Daily Star articles, “which contained appalling and false allegations about her”.

The complaint was settled, with the Daily Star admitting allegations made in the articles were false.

Of the 17, 11 articles were written by Daily Star journalist Gemma Wheatley – the claim form states. She has since taken a job at Can Associates where, according to the claim form, she is employed as PA and press officer for Andre.

These revelations follow those made in a further claim made by Price against Northern & Shell in which she said the company had breached a “goodwill” agreement with her.

It showed that Northern & Shell editorial director Paul Ashford had agreed in May 2011: “I will inform each of the editors that we have both worked hard to make this deal work and that I have agreed that our titles will conduct themselves with goodwill towards you and they will support your plan to raise awareness of issues facing families dealing with disability issues.”

Price was seeking unlimited damages for libel, malicious falsehood and breach of contract before Northern & Shell agreed to an amicable settlement in which it paid damages and a “significant contribution” to Price’s legal fees in December.

She was suing over a series of articles – and one ‘reader’ letter – published in Northern & Shell titles the Star magazine and OK! magazine in October 2011.

The 3 October Star magazine article, headlined ‘Jordan’s bizarre new obsession’, suggested she had “harassed” US celebrities the Kardashian sisters by “bombarding” them with Blackberry messages.

The magazine then published a reader’s letter a week later, which, according to a High Court claim form, Northern and Shell admitted was written by one of the magazine’s reporters.

The latest writ also reveals that Can Associates set up interviews between other celebrities – such as Jamelah Asmar and Price’s former friend Michelle Clack – and newspapers, in which they were critical of Price.

Price believes that newspapers including the News of the World and Sunday Mirror were, through email contracts, promised “confidential” information about her in these columns and interviews.

Northern & Shell and Trinity Mirror declined to comment when contacted by Press Gazette.

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