Boy George pays damages over punch-up claim

Boy George has agreed to pay £10,000 libel damages to a Soho nightclub secretary whom he punched but then claimed had provoked the incident.

The singer will pay the damages to Andrew Thompson following the claims he made in the Sunday Express and gay magazine Boyz.

A High Court settlement of the action launched by Thompson against Boy George followed earlier damages paid to Thompson over the assault itself.

Hanna Basha, solicitor for Thompson, told Mr Justice Tugendhat the incident happened on 20 June 2002. She said Thompson was membership secretary at the Sweet Suite club and was punched by Boy George, who later accepted he should not have attacked him and paid compensation.

But in a November 2002 interview with Boy George in Boyz, it was alleged that Thompson had insulted and provoked the singer in such a way that he had deserved to be punched hard and effectively blamed Thompson for the incident.

Basha said that in December 2002 Boy George “revisited the incident” and repeated his account of events in the Sunday Express. He refused requests from Thompson that he withdraw the allegations and apologise.

She told the court that Boy George had now agreed to pay “substantial damages of £10,000” along with Thompson’s legal costs and apologised for the distress the articles had caused.

Counsel for Boy George told the judge he apologised to the claimant for making the allegations.

By Roger Pearson

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