Libel payout for Katona over 'prostitute' claim

TV personality Kerry Katona today accepted substantial undisclosed damages over a claim that she worked as a prostitute before becoming famous.

The 27-year-old former Atomic Kitten and mother-of-four was not at London's High Court for the settlement of her libel action against MGN Limited, which involves the payment of a five-figure sum and her legal costs.

Her solicitor-advocate, David Price, told Mr Justice Eady that the allegation was "completely false".

It arose from an article, in June, which claimed that Katona's mother, Sue, had secured a six-figure publishing deal for her autobiography in which she would disclose her daughter's secrets - including that she had worked as a prostitute.

Mr Price said: "The truth is that Sue Katona has never alleged that the claimant worked as a prostitute in the book or at any other time and such an allegation would be entirely untrue.

"Moreover, Sue Katona has not to date written an autobiography nor does she have a publishing agreement to publish such a book."

Mr Price said Katona was deeply hurt and embarrassed by the article in the Sunday Mirror, "Betrayed by Mum - Kerry's mother dishes the dirt in explosive new book", which also appeared on its website.

"She was particularly distressed that such an allegation was said to have been made by her mother, thereby giving it added credibility.

"Although the article suggested that the claimant had been betrayed by her mother, the impression was that the betrayal was the disclosure of the hidden truth about the claimant's past."

He said the newspaper had already published a prominent apology, and Katona felt suitably vindicated.

MGN's advocate, Victoria Joliffe, offered its sincere apologies and said it accepted that the allegations were false.

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