Sir Elton John and David Furnish have accepted “significant” libel damages over a newspaper claim that their dog inflicted “Freddy Krueger-like injuries” on a child at a play date.
The couple brought proceedings against News Group Newspapers over a front page story in The Sun on Sunday in February.
Their solicitor, Jenny Afia, told Mr Justice Nicklin at the High Court today that the story, captioned “Elton’s Dog Did This To My Girl”, also appeared on the Sun’s website.
It was subsequently picked up by a number of other publishers including the Mail Online, the Metro, the Mirror and the Evening Standard, Afia added.
She said the story described an incident at the couple’s home and claimed a child on a play date had been subjected to a serious attack by their dog which left her with “Freddy Krueger-like injuries”.
The story added that Sir Elton and Furnish had failed to make any attempt to find out how the young girl was following the incident, despite being aware of what happened.
“This allegation is false,” Afia said. “The truth is that the injuries were not serious, and the claimants, far from ignoring the incident, made several inquiries about the girl’s welfare to her father and nanny. Each time it was confirmed the girl was fine.”
She added: “I am pleased to say that the newspaper has now accepted unequivocally that this allegation was false and seriously defamatory.
“As a result, it has agreed now to apologise to Sir Elton John and David Furnish, and to pay significant damages as well as to reimburse their legal costs.”
NGN’s solicitor, Jeffrey Smele, said: “The defendant offers its apology to the claimants, and is pleased that the matter has been amicably resolved.”
Picture: Reuters/Gus Ruelas