The Sunday Mirror has apologised and paid substantial damages to actor Tom Ellis after claiming he had been in a “bitter battle” with his ex-wife over child support payments.
Lawyers for Ellis, who has played characters in EastEnders, Miranda (role pictured, BBC) and Life on Mars, told a court yesterday the defamatory allegations made against him were “deeply upsetting”.
According to Ellis's legal representation, the 13 July story claimed that he “deliberately sought to shirk his responsibility to pay child maintenance for his two daughters” with his former wife, actress Tamzin Outhwaite, also formerly of EastEnders.
His lawyers said the article claimed he was “too cash strapped to do so, and that this had forced his ex-wife to threaten him with lawyers to ensure that he met his obligations as a father”.
A statement read in court by his lawyers, from Lee and Thompson, said: “His distress was compounded by the fact that, as is obvious, the financial arrangements regarding his children are private.”
Solicitor Leo Dawkins added: “As the [Sunday Mirror] has now admitted, there was also no truth in the story. There had been no such row between my client and his ex-wife, bitter or otherwise.
“Whilst details of the childcare arrangements are, as I say, private, Mr Ellis has in fact never failed to pay his share of child maintenance, nor has he ever claimed that he could not afford to do so."
The Trinity Mirror solicitor said: “My Lord, on behalf of the [Sunday Mirror], I confirm what has been said by Mr Dawkins. The Defendant hereby apologises to Mr Ellis for the publication of the article complained of and is pleased to have this ability to set the record straight.”
Lee and Thompson also revealed Ellis has won substantial damages from the Mail Online and Daily Express after they ran similar stories.