The News of the World has reportedly agreed to pay £70,000 to former Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc after falling for a ‘highly complex’fake expose of his sex life.
Boruc brought the defamation case after the NoW published a story claiming Boruc had sent a series of sexually explicit text messages and photos to a woman while his girlfriend was pregnant in July 2010.
According to a report in the BBC, a man posing as Boruc’s financial adviser contacted the newspaper to discuss ‘the newspaper being granted an exclusive interview with the footballer if they would make the story ‘go away'”.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard how the man spun an elaborate web of lies which included setting up a fake Facebook page and adding comments purporting to come from Boruc’s girlfriend, Sara Manei, which supported the allegations.
He also apparently altered a photo of a man’s torso to add a monkey tattoo similar to one Boruc’s.
The hoax only began to unravel when mobile phone records revealed that calls Boruc could not have made calls he was alleged to have made from a Glasgow hotel because he was actually on holiday in Sardinia at the time.
According to a report in The Scottsman, Roddy Dunlop QC, acting for News of the World publishers News Group Newspapers, said the tabloid had been the ‘victim of a highly complex deceit by one man”.
“The defenders [News Group] accept that they were entirely taken in by this fraud but they were not reckless or irresponsible in the beliefs that they held.
“A highly believable web was woven with many inter-linked strands which appeared to corroborate the story and it was only when the phone details began to emerge that the tissue of lies was revealed.”
The NoW published an apology in its Scottish edition on page 11 yesterday.
It said: ‘In an article published on July 25, 2010, under the heading ‘Glove Rat’, we suggested former Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc had sent x-rated texts and pictures by phone to a mystery woman while his fiancÃ© was pregnant.
‘We now accept these allegations were untrue and texts and pictures referred to were not sent by Mr Boruc.
‘We apologise for the wrong report and for any distress we may have caused to Mr Boruc and his fiancÃ©.’