LONDON (TIP): Russell Brand has accepted a “substantial” but undisclosed sum of damages at the High Court in London from the Sun On Sunday, after the newspaper ran a story claiming that he had been unfaithful to his girlfriend Jemima Khan. The 38-year-old comedian sued the publication in January after it ran the article across pages one, four and five on November 17, 2013.
The paper initially refused to remove the article from its website, withdraw the allegations or publish an apology, the court heard. Newspapers Limited, the publisher of the Sun on Sunday, accepted that the claims that Brand had deliberately deceived the general public, as well as his girlfriend Jemima Khan, by cheating on her were totally untrue and defamatory and admitted that the article, headlined ‘Russell Cheated On Jemima With Me’, should not have been published.
News Group agreed never to republish the allegations and has apologised to Brand and Khan for the distress and embarrassment the article caused them. The publishing house have also agreed to publish an apology, alongside paying Brand a substantial amount in damages, as well as covering his legal costs. Following the publication of the article in November, Brand wrote an article for the Guardian about the “pain, disruption and distress that the Sun inflicted” on himself and Khan.
“Some friends of mine thought it dubious that the Sun’s deceitful story appeared just days after I’d spoken out against the media, corporations and the government,” he wrote. “It could be a coincidence. Or it could be that the Sun loves me when I’m a prattling, giggling, Essex boy ‘Shagger of the Year’, when I’m in my proper place, beneath vacuous headlines, herding their flock towards dumb lingo and crap bingo, when I’m being cheeky on MTV or even unwisely invading answerphones, in a way that many would argue, is less offensive than the manner that they are alleged to have done.
“In my place I’m fine, but if I use my glistening podium, to talk to the people I grew up with, or signed on with or used drugs with, vulnerable overlooked, underserved, ordinary people, people that can’t sue them as I am, then out come the fangs.”
He went on to claim that tabloid publications are not to be trusted, and said it was a big “lie” to suggest that the famous were the only targets Pointing out The Sun’s now infamous coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, he wrote: “We all remember the worst lies, the ones where the red tops are caught redhanded, like Hillsborough, where the Sun enthusiastically heaped more pain on the grieving people of Liverpool by claiming that innocent fans had pissed on police and rifled through the possessions of their dead fellows under the front-page headline ‘The Truth’.” Brand previously declared that he would be donating the amount to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.