TV presenter wins damages for affair reports
Thursday 10 April 2008
GMTV presenter Kate Garraway accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages today over allegations that she betrayed her husband by having an affair with Strictly Come Dancing partner Anton Du Beke.
The 39-year-old TV host will receive a six-figure sum, including legal costs, from MGN Limited over articles which appeared in the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror in February.
Her solicitor, Rachel Atkins, told Mr Justice Eady at London's High Court that MGN now accepted that there was "no truth whatsoever" in the claims and apologised.
She said that, contrary to the allegations, Garraway and her husband, Derek Draper, who were both in court, "are and were as faithful, happy and in love at the time of the publication as they had ever been.
"The plain truth was that the claimant and Anton Du Beke became friends during Strictly Come Dancing. Since then they had often worked and spent time together.
"Given that the defendant had ignored the claimant's denials prior to and at the time of publication, the claimant felt she had no option but to immediately issue proceedings for defamation."
Ms Atkins said the Sunday Mirror article was accompanied by a number of photos of Ms Garraway going about her normal daily life which were presented in such a way that they purported to back up the allegations.
These were taken without her knowledge and did not support an allegation of an illicit affair.
The Daily Mirror article, the following day, was entitled "Strictly No Crisis...GMTV's Kate show of unity after kiss with dancer star" - from which readers might have concluded that she was reduced to putting forward a hopelessly unconvincing and false denial of her affair.
MGN's counsel, Elizabeth Prochaska, said that while it did not intend expressly to state that Ms Garraway was having an affair with Mr Du Beke, nor that her denials of such an allegation were unconvincing, it now accepted that the articles implied that.
"Through me, the defendant offers its apologies to the claimant for the distress and embarrassment caused by these articles.
"The defendant accepts that any suggestion that the claimant betrayed her husband, Derek Draper, and was unfaithful to him by having an affair with Anton Du Beke is false and undertakes never to repeat such an allegation."
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