Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The People apologises to Charlotte Church

Three weeks after the event but, coincidentally, one day before she appeared at the Leveson Inquiry, the People published an apology to Charlotte Church over the false claim that she had drunkenly proposed to her boyfriend:

On November 6, 2011, we said Charlotte Church had proposed marriage to Jonathan Powell at a boozy karaoke night at the Robin Hood pub in Cardiff. We were misinformed.

On the night in question Ms Church and Mr Powell were performing a gig at studios in Pentyrch, Cardiff and Ms Church did not propose that night or at all.

We are happy to set the record straight and we apologise for our mistake.

However, in her evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, Church and her lawyer made clear this wasn't necessarily the end of the story. Church said:

we didn't just want a normal run-of-the-mill apology because it's just not good enough

David Sherborne added:

What Ms Church was saying, though, was that with the apology -- and it was a unilateral one, and that's obviously a matter that's of wider interest to the Inquiry in terms of what the appropriate form of redress is -- the apology she was seeking in agreed terms was also the answers to a number of questions which are rather similar to those questions Ms Patry Hoskins had put about how it was this story was written and how there are quotes from Ms Church and her partner, given that this is all entirely fabricated.

Church also raised the issue of how her statement denying the story was treated by the media:

I gave a statement saying that it was a complete fabrication and that this was a case -- you know, this was an exact reason why this Leveson Inquiry is happening and how it's out of control and it simply shouldn't be allowed to happen, and part of my statement which was basically the denial was printed in a few publications. 

Most of -- most of the rest of it, the stronger parts of the statement, were just totally ignored and in one instance -- I think it might have been the Press Association who basically wrote back when we'd given the statement, saying, "We can't print this whole statement because our consumers don't like to hear anything negative about us or our conduct."

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