The former wife of footballer Paul Gascoigne accepted undisclosed libel damages today over a claim that her financial demands had caused the ex-England star’s relapse into alcoholism.
Sheryl Gascoigne sued Express Newspapers over a number of “sensational and highly offensive” allegations which appeared in the Daily Star in June.
Her solicitor, Roderick Batten, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court that the stories suggested that Ms Gascoigne, 43, had already been paid £17.5 million by Gascoigne as part of her divorce settlement.
“They then suggested that notwithstanding such alleged payments, Ms Gascoigne had made a callous and wholly unjustified demand for a further £100,000 and for increased maintenance payments, while Mr Gascoigne was fighting for his life in a drug rehabilitation unit.
“The articles also suggested that Mrs Gascoigne’s demands had driven Mr Gascoigne to the brink and caused his then recent relapse into alcoholism.”
Batten said that the newspaper now accepted that each allegation “was and is completely untrue”.
It apologised publicly and unreservedly for the distress and embarrassment caused and had agreed to pay Ms Gascoigne damages and her legal costs.
Solicitor Zoe Norden, for the newspaper, apologised and said she hoped today’s statement would help set the record straight.
Ms Gascoigne was in court but made no comment after the brief hearing.