Best wins libel damages over drug orgies claim

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The Independent Online
GEORGE BEST, the former international footballer, was given a public apology and undisclosed libel damages yesterday at the High Court in London over a magazine article which suggested that he had gained a reputation for 'wild drug orgies' since he stopped playing.

Mr Best, formerly of Manchester United and Northern Ireland, was not present in court for the hearing.

His counsel, Jonathan Crystal, told Mr Justice French that the allegation in the October 1991 issue of a football monthly entitled Star Kicks was wholly without foundation.

'Mr Best has never taken drugs or participated in wild orgies involving drugs,' he said.

Thomas Shields, counsel for Lancastrian Holdings, publishers of the magazine which has now ceased publication, said that the company very much regretted that the article, which bore the headline 'Simply the Best]', had caused any offence or embarrassment.

It had agreed to pay Mr Best a 'suitable' sum in damages as well as his legal costs.