London is now celebrities defamation capital of the world

October 13th, 2008 - 4:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Nicole Kidman

London, Oct 13 (ANI): Nearly a third of celebrities libel cases have been registered in London in the past year, making it the defamation capital of the world celebrities.

Figures released by the legal publishers Sweet & Maxwell suggest that libel actions brought in England and Wales have significantly increased.

In addition to British celebrity petitioners, American stars have also been bringing their proceedings in the UK courts; with Nicole Kidman and David Hasselhoff topping them all.

They are being advised that it is easier to win defamation claims in the UK than in their own courts.

Media experts believe that one reason for the greater willingness among celebrities to go to court when they are harshly treated in the press is the increasing influence of the celebrity lawyer over the star’’s agent.

While an agent may argue in favour of “all publicity is good publicity”, the lawyer can now offer the client a chance of a libel victory with the payoffs.

In April, the GMTV presenter Kate Garraway was awarded a six-figure sum, plus costs, in undisclosed libel damages from MGN Ltd.

The Sunday Mirror and Daily Mirror were under fire for falsely breaking the news that Garraway was having an affair with Anton Du Beke, her partner on the TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

The actress Samantha Janus was also paid “substantial” damages over an untrue claim that she took part in a drug-fuelled lesbian sex orgy.

The EastEnders star was “deeply hurt and embarrassed” by the Sunday Sport article in July last year.

Comedian Russell Brand also accepted damages from Express Newspapers over a claim that a girl was raped during a party at his flat.

Sweet & Maxwell suggests that the increase in celebrity-based cases reflects demand for celebrity-based stories.

“Competition to deliver this coverage can lead to factual errors being made which then prompt defamation claims,” the Independent quoted the company as saying. (ANI)

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