Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sorry we said you had criminal record

Today's Daily Star published the following apology to Garry (brother of Cheryl) Tweedy:

In Court yesterday the Daily Star apologised to Garry Tweedy for an article published on 13 April in which we incorrectly reported that Mr Tweedy had admitted on his Facebook profile that he had been to prison a few times.

We accepted that Mr Tweedy did not post this comment nor has he ever been charged or convicted of a criminal offence nor been sent to prison. We apologised to Mr Tweedy for this error.

Not only has the Star apologised, but they have agreed to pay damages and legal costs to Mr Tweedy. It adds to a long line of recent libel payouts by Richard Desmond's Express Newspapers.

Heat magazine will also pay damages and apologise, after they first published the false claims. The Guardian explains:

Heat's front page article on 12 April, headlined "Cheryl's family from hell", featured a photograph of Tweedy with the caption "[Garry Tweedy] reveals prison past on Facebook".

An article inside that edition of the weekly was headed "US dream in peril thanks to Cheryl's family misfortunes" and made a number of false statements about Tweedy, his solicitor Steven Tregear said in a statement read out at the high court on Tuesday.

The Daily Star falsely claimed in an article published on 13 April, headlined "Cheryl in peril", that Tweedy had admitted on Facebook that he had been in prison a few times. "The Facebook profile [the Daily Star] relied upon was a fake," Tregear said. "[Tweedy] did not post the comment and he has never been charged or convicted of any criminal offence or sent to prison."

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