PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

The publishers of the News of the World and The Sun, have made DJ Masterstepz an “offer of amends” in relation to his defamation claim against both newspapers, after they published “gay orgy” allegations in February.

This means that News Group Newspapers are offering to apologise to Masterstepz, real name, Ian Thompson, over the allegations and pay him damages.

Mr Thompson brought proceedings for defamation following a series of articles appearing in both newspapers between 12 and 19 February, claiming that a “well known DJ” had taken part in “perverted” and “debauched romps” with two premiership footballers.

Although Masterstepz was not named in the articles, the newspapers have accepted that he was identified as the “DJ” they claimed was involved.

An unedited version of the obscured picture that the News of the World printed featuring the DJ and footballer Ashley Cole was later published on PinkNews.co.uk.

Masterstepz always maintained that the allegations which had been published were utterly without foundation. His lawyer, Korieh Duodu of David Price Solicitors and Advocates told PinkNews.co.uk, “Now that News Group Newspapers appear to have accepted that these allegations are false, Masterstepz wants them to make prominent public apologies as quickly as possible. In the meantime we will investigate whether they have any explanation for publishing this story which entitles them to rely on an Offer of Amends.

An offer of amends provides a system whereby a publisher can offer to make an apology, compensate the claimant and pay his legal costs. If the offer of amends is accepted and the parties are unable to agree the level of compensation it will fall to be decided by a High Court Judge.

The defence is not available if the publisher is found to have, at the time of publication, known or had reason to believe that the allegations it made were false.

It is not yet known if Ashley Cole, who was also eventually identified, will be offered compensation as well.

News Group has previously told PinkNews.co.uk they reserve the right to commence third party proceedings against the site in relation to the libel claims of Mr Cole.