Wednesday 5 October 2011

Sorry we said you begged for sex

The Sun, 16 August 2011:

Man U ace begged me for sex at 5am (even though he's dating Page 3 Emily)

Footie rising star Tom Cleverley begged a girl for sex after taking her to a B&B - despite dating a Page 3 beauty.

The Sun, 5 October 2011:

Tom Cleverley - apology

An article on 16 August reported that Manchester United footballer Tom Cleverley had begged a girl for sex after meeting her at a night club, even though he was dating a Page 3 model. In fact, entirely unknown to the girl it now transpires that the man involved, who looked like Tom Cleverley, was impersonating him. We apologise to Mr Cleverley for any embarrassment caused.

Along with the apology, the Sun has agreed to pay 'a substantial sum in damages'. The Guardian reports:

According to [a] by David Price QC, acting on behalf of Cleverley...the article alleged that Cleverley "had met a girl in a Blackpool nightclub and bombarded her with text messages offering her sex"...

"Most seriously, the article then alleged that he repeatedly badgered her for sex, despite her saying no"...

The lawyer added that Cleverley had never met the girl involved and on the night of the alleged incident he was at home with his girlfriend in Manchester...

It is understood that the Sun did not contact Cleverley before publishing the story.

This is the third time this year that a Sun 'story' about the late-night antics of a footballer has resulted in a clarification and apology.

(Hat-tip to Patrick Casey)


  1. Check a fact and save a fortune.

  2. Seriously. How hard is it for a journalist to be a journalist - make a call, check the facts.

    When I read Roy Greenslade and others demanding self-regulation be given yet another chance, I then read these stories and just think, no, sod 'em. Bring on the heavy duty regulation and make journalists start behaving like basic people doing a pretty straightforward job i.e having to do the simple things right.

  3. I remember reading this story when it was published and thinking it was total bull. It said in the original story that he walked into the hotel room followed by a security guard and when the girl asked why he needed one, he said it was because he is a footballer. How does the fact it was a lookalike pretending to be him explain the security guard? Answer it doesn't, it wasnt a lookalike, the whole thing was made up.

  4. Pretending to be a bodygaurd would be much easier to pull off than pretending to be a professional footballer, so I can't really see how that's the hardest part to believe of the whole thing.

    Find a friend who looks imposing in a suit and get them to tag along with the promise of free drinks, free entry to any establishments you think you can get into and a share of any perks that you think you can get out of pretending to be a celebrity.

    Fake bodygaurds,security gaurds, drivers and so on are easy. The actual fake footballer would be harder to pull off.

    Either way, whether there was a fake footballer or not, I'm really not surprised that The Sun didn't bother to check any facts on the story.

  5. No I wasnt refering to the bodyguard being hard to believe.

    What I meant was that the follow-up story / apology didnt mention the bodyguard at all, which led me to believe the whole thing was made up.

    But thanks for the lesson in how to pull this off myself, I need to find a footballer I look like now.


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