Elton John wins libel victory

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sir Elton John today accepted undisclosed libel damages and a public apology over a newspaper claim that he behaved in a self-important, arrogant and rude manner at his annual charity summer ball.

The star was not at London's High Court for the settlement of his action over a report, entitled "rock royals get too grand", which appeared in the Sunday Times last June.

His solicitor, Hanna Basha, told Mr Justice Eady that it erroneously repeated an entirely false rumour that Sir Elton acted in a self-important, arrogant and rude manner by issuing a bizarre and absurd edict to guests at the fundraising White Tie and Tiara ball, not to address him unless spoken to.

The ball has raised at least £3 million each year for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

She added: "The story caused Sir Elton considerable embarrassment and distress, particularly because he feared it would be damaging to his fundraising efforts."

Times Newspapers Ltd had acknowledged that the allegation should not have been published and that it was untrue.

It publicly withdrew the allegation and apologised for the distress that it had caused to Sir Elton.

It had agreed to pay him damages, which he will donate to his Aids Foundation, and his legal costs.

The newspaper's solicitor, Alastair Brett, said: "As soon as the defendant found out the story was untrue - it had been picked up from another newspaper - it immediately apologised to Sir Elton and it is happy to repeat that apology here today."