Mail must pay price for casting stone at Sharon

Hollywood star Sharon Stone has accepted a public apology and "substantial"

but undisclosed libel damages at the High Court over newspaper allegations that she left her son in a car while she ate in a restaurant.

Despite her multi-millionaire status, she originally brought the case on a no win, no fee arrangement under the Government’s access to justice reforms.

But she decided to pay her lawyers up front after press controversy surrounded her writ, which included a Press Gazette front page on 30 September.

A Daily Mail story on 20 June last year was headlined: "Sharon’s son sleeps in the car while she dines out". It alleged she left her four-year-old son in the car while she ate dinner at London’s The Ivy restaurant.

Stone’s solicitor, Rupert Grey from Farrer, told the High Court the story was completely untrue.

Grey explained why Stone dropped her no win, no fee deal (also known as a conditional fee arrangement), saying: "It was Sharon Stone’s decision because the case became more about CFAs than about setting the record straight. It was going to get more complicated, and there were more applications from the Mail, so she decided to go back on a straight fee basis.

"It became so topical that it became a story about CFAs and not about newspapers publishing untruths and Press Gazette played its part in that."

It is understood that Stone brought the case on a CFA because such no win, no fee arrangements are the norm in the US.

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