Oasis singer Liam Gallagher is seeking libel damages from the Guardian after it incorrectly claimed he’d stormed out of a London gig and failed to return.
Gallagher launched a legal action after publication of the story, headlined ‘Liam Gallagher storms out of Oasis gig’, on the Guardian.co.uk website on July 22.
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The story alleged Gallagher acted unprofessionally and without regard for the audience as he stormed out, not to return, in the middle of a performance at Camden’s Roundhouse, according a writ filed at the High Court.
London law firm, Carter-Ruck, filed the writ on the singer’s behalf claming the allegations could deter people from going to future Oasis concerts.
Shortly after the story appeared, the writ stated, Gallagher issued an unequivocal denial that he had stormed out and made clear that his departure from the stage was short, pre-planned.
Gallagher claimed he’d returned to the stage within ten minutes and his brief departure was a regular part of Oasis concerts over the previous year or so.
The Guardian published an apology to the singer on 7 August, saying it had made an error with the original article.
It stated; “In an earlier article ‘Liam Gallagher storms out of Oasis gig’ published online on 22 July 2009 we wrongly suggested that Liam Gallagher walked out of an Oasis gig and did not return disrupting the set they were performing.
“In fact Liam Gallagher only left the stage whilst his brother sang two songs as is normal during their performance and returned to continue the rest of the set.
“We apologise to Liam Gallagher for this error.”
Although the Guardian published an apology, Gallagher claimed it was not issued on agreed terms, and did not provide the vindication to which he was entitled.
Gallagher complained the apology did to refer to paying damages, was not suitably prominent, and was not linked to the website home page but appeared only as a free standing item for about 60 hours.
The writ issued to the High Court claimed Guardian News and Media made no effort to contact Gallagher, or any representative of Oasis, before the story appeared and has since failed to make offer of amends.
Gallagher, who said the story damaged his reputation and caused him serious distress and embarrassment, is pursuing his legal action as he believes the Guardian is liable for repetition of the claims on other websites. He is seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations.